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Aaron Rodgers pledges to donate $500,000 for small businesses nationwide, including a bar in De Pere

Posted at 11:16 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 00:16:38-05

DE PERE, Wis. (NBC26) -- Kerry Counard tweeted at the Packers to donate money to small businesses.

This weekend, a star quarterback delivered.

"I’m in," Aaron Rodgers told Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy in an Instagram video. "I want to be in the same amount you put in, $500,000. That’s what I’m in for."

Rodgers pledged $500,000 to the 'Barstool Fund,' which aims to give relief to small businesses nationwide.

"My money’s where my mouth is," Rodgers said. "And it’s a call to action for everybody out there to continue to donate and do what they can."

Counard owns The Abbey Bar in De Pere. His business received a donation from the 'Barstool Fund' back in late December.

"I asked them if they would cover part of one of my payrolls every month," Counard said. "And obviously, that is a tremendous help."

The Abbey is located directly across the street from St. Norbert College. And without large events like graduation, Counard says his bar hasn’t been as packed as it should be.

"We were giving away beer, because we couldn’t sell beer early on," Counard said. "We were giving away beer in order to get customers in to buy our food."

But Counard says the 'Barstool Fund' donations are going a long way to help small businesses.

"Having super star athletes like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady join the cause has only helped magnify the need to support local businesses.

And Rodgers says he and private charities shouldn’t have to be the only ones helping small businesses.

"They’re doing something that the government isn’t doing," Rodgers said. "And [there are] so many people who have been struggling with the [Paycheck Protection Program] grants and not getting any money... or waiting around for some sort of stimulus check that is really not gonna help pay the rent for so many small businesses."

Counard says he is grateful, but he doesn’t just want money.

"As a business owner, none of us want a donation," he said. "We just want to be able to operate our businesses."