Appearing on “Fox & Friends Weekend” with his daughter Patty on Sunday, the owner of Pony Express Cleaners in Scottsdale said he was in the store on Christmas morning “going through schedules and looking for whose hours I could cut a little bit here and there” when he got the news.
“It's one thing when you have your own life to worry about, but when you're carrying 10 people and their families on your back, it gets heavy,” Redden said.
He added that for the first three to four months of the coronavirus pandemic business was down about 90% and is currently down 75%.
Redden noted that even though his business has “struggled” throughout the pandemic, he kept all his employees’ hours the same until now because he had some financial means, which he said has all been used up at this point.
In a video posted on social media, Redden is seen getting emotional inside his store when his daughters told him he was selected to receive financial help from “The Barstool Fund.”
Dave Portnoy, founder of media company Barstool Sports, launched the fundraising effort with the nonprofit 30 Day Fund for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 called “The Barstool Fund” earlier this month and contributed $500,000 of his own money toward the effort.
As of Sunday morning, “The Barstool Fund” has raised more than $7.3 million from more than 66,000 supporters for 25 small businesses struggling during the pandemic.
Portnoy introduced the fund in a Dec. 17 tweet, saying businesses could submit stories to email@example.com to be considered for the fund.
Portnoy has been sharing video submissions from small business owners asking to be part of the fundraising effort on social media.
He has also been sharing videos of business owners' reactions to news that they have been chosen to take part in “The Barstool Fund,” with several, including Redden, appearing to get emotional after hearing the news, often from Portnoy directly.
In Redden’s case, his daughters delivered the news after they heard from Portnoy.
Redden’s daughter Patty told “Fox & Friends Weekend” she applied to Barstool for the relief with her sister because “we're both Barstool fans and so we follow them on social media and his [Portnoy’s] campaign came up and I saw it and I was like, ‘Let's give it a shot. We got nothing to lose. We're already on the last leg, so maybe we can get some help this way.’”
She said she was “in shock” when she heard from Portnoy.
“I think we kind of just all lost our minds that this was actually happening,” she said.
She added that she realized the chances of her family receiving aid from Portnoy’s fund were slim given “we're one of thousands and thousands of businesses that are in the same boat.”
She went on to say that “we did everything we could throughout the whole pandemic to try to keep going” and that “we're deserving” of receiving the relief.
“My dad works to the bone,” Patty Redden said. “He was here on Christmas Day. Like, we're closed and he's here on Christmas trying to figure out what he can do, but I know we're not the only ones.”
She said that she is “extremely grateful.”
Barstool is continuing to accept applications from small businesses to take part in The Barstool Fund and submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The world was lifted off my shoulders like you wouldn't believe,” Redden said on Sunday. “Anyone who is responsible for other people's lives knows what that feeling is.”
He added that that’s why he hopes “everyone out there would reach out to Barstool and let them help everyone they can.”
FOX Business’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.