MUSKEGON, Mich. — After signing a lease on a second location in January, Yodels Yogurt Shop owner Nik Tong and his team were two days into construction when the pandemic hit.
The grand opening at the second location was pushed back from April to August, and with the bills piling up, the Muskegon-based small business owner didn't know what to do.
Seeking financial assistance, Tong applied for the Barstool Fund, which Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy started to help small businesses in need during the pandemic.
A few days after applying for help, Tong received a FaceTime call from Portnoy, who said the fund could help Tong pay some urgent bills.
Tong was overjoyed when he got the call.
"I was finishing up dinner and I got the FaceTime call," Tong said. "There's only one person that I know of that would be FaceTime calling me and I clicked on there and, kind of gave a little expletive that he didn't really mind. But my kids probably were a little shocked."
Less than a day later, Tong was thrilled to see the bills he had been stressing over paid for by the Fund.
"He said (they will) have funds in your in your account in 72 hours, and it was less than 24 hours, and I had my rent and my electric bill in my bank account."
This may not be a one-time deposit, as Portnoy told Tong.
"It's one of those things that it's not even just a one month deal," Tong said. "It's a thing that they're going to call us every month to say, 'Hey, you still need some help?', And if we do, then they'll deposit the same amount of money month after month after month until we're pretty much back on our feet and we don't need it anymore."
After receiving the call from Portnoy Monday evening, Tong is still shocked that they got help so fast.
"How on earth did this actually happen? I mean, being a small family owned frozen yogurt shop over in Muskegon, Michigan," Tong said. "And next thing you know, I guess somebody famous, call me to help me out."
You can visit Tong at either of the Yodels locations. The main location is at 1971 Holton Rd in Muskegon, while the new location is at 950 W Norton Ave, just behind the Pints & Quarts shop.
If you or someone you know are a small business owner in need of financial, you can apply for the Barstool Fund, which has raised more $35 million for nearly 300 businesses, here.