In a video posted to Barstool Sports' Facebook page on Tuesday, owners Rose and Rick Gaetz of The Red Carpet in St. Cloud answered a video chat call surprised to see Barstool founder Dave Portnoy, who said The Red Carpet sounds like a "special place" and "these are the type of places we want to help."
"That is just awesome. I feel like I won the lottery," Rose Gaetz said.
Barstool Sports launched the fund to help businesses struggling amid the pandemic. Small business owners are encouraged to apply for funding via the Barstool Fund and the media company encourages those who can to donate to the fund.
To date, the Barstool Fund has raised more than $34 million and has supported 220 businesses and counting.
Rose Gaetz told Bring Me The News they applied for Barstool's fund after the most recent restaurant shutdown over the holidays, which was "devastating" to them.
She said the business survived the shutdown in the spring and PPP loans and outdoor dining helped them get through the summer and fall, but when bars got the OK to reopen in January but only until 10 p.m., they were "discouraged."
"We're a nightclub and that's when most of our business starts," Rose Gaetz said. "We're not a restaurant so we don't have a food service option.
"I thought it was a longshot to apply to the Barstool Fund because there are so many businesses nationwide that are struggling, but we've been exploring all of our options in hopes of keeping our 40-year business going," she added.
Portnoy said The Red Carpet will have funds in about 72 hours and then each month they'll reach out "until this thing's done" to make sure the bar has everything it needs to be there when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Getting support from the Barstool Fund "restores my faith in humanity," Rose Gaetz said, noting money from the Barstool Fund will go toward The Red Carpet's payroll, rent, utilities and other operating expenses.
"It will be a great help in keeping us on our feet until our industry recovers," she said, explaining that the fund allows businesses to apply for a monthly amount up to $10,000 for a minimum of three months, possibly extending until the crisis is over.
In the meantime, Rose Gaetz is asking people to "go out of their way" to support small businesses in their community by shopping local and eating local amid the pandemic.
The Red Carpet, which bills itself as a multi-level entertainment and drinking complex, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.