James “Sonny” Shinn broke down in tears after hearing his family-owned dry cleaning business would receive $30,000 to aid their efforts to stay afloat.
Shinn Cleaners, 2800 Foxcroft Road, got the support through the Barstool Fund, an effort to support small businesses that were impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.
As a recipient, the business will receive a lump-sum of $30,000 and continued support throughout the pandemic.
Shinn Cleaners was nominated by Logan Kloker, who said she has been a friend of the Shinn family since meeting Shinn’s daughter while attending the University of Central Arkansas. Kloker also worked at the business for about seven months during college, she added.
In her submission video to Barstool, Kloker said she wanted to nominate the business because “They want to do everything that they can to keep their business open and alive and their employees on payroll,” she said.
The business was opened in the 1970s by Shinn and his mother, and he later took over. One day his daughter plans to do the same, Kloker said.
“They really want to keep it in the family and they really are trying hard to keep it open,” Kloker said in her submission video.
Kloker said she was on the phone with Shinn’s daughter a few weeks ago, who was talking about how badly the pandemic affected their business. Kloker said this was something she never considered, because you always hear about how the pandemic affected the restaurant industry, but “it’s the random businesses like dry cleaners people don’t think about,” she said.
A week or so later, she said she heard about the Barstool Fund and applied immediately.
“They’re the epitome of small business,” she said, explaining the business has seven employees. Though they had eight employees, one recently passed away due to complications from covid, she said.
“It’s hitting them in every way possible,” she said in her submission video.
Kloker said she cries every time she watches the video uploaded by Dave Portnoy, owner of Barstool Sports, which shows Sonny Shinn crying after being told they were chosen as part of the fund.
“I’m so happy that I sent that (video) in,” she said. “Just his reaction alone tells you how much they deserve it.”
In a statement, the family said “We are incredibly grateful and humbled to be a part of the Barstool Fund. There really aren’t adequate words to describe the impact this will have for us.”