Small businesses looking for a lifeline, and looking to help in 2021

Squire's Tap Room
Photo credit

Tonawanda, NY (WBEN) - Small businesses have taken a huge hit in 2020, leaving many hoping for a lifeline to ensure that they can survive in 2021 and beyond. For a few lucky business owners, that's exactly what's happening.

Squire's Tap Room in the City of Tonawanda is getting one of those lifelines from Barstool Sports. The media company has set up a fund to help small businesses, raising over $10 Million over the past week to help out those who need some funds to survive.

"My son was really the catalyst behind the whole thing," said Squire's Owner Rick Neuhaus. "I had no idea. You're talking about a nation-wide thing. We're a small restaurant in Tonawanda, New York. You're not thinking about that... I'm really just humbled."

Barstool said they are looking to help businesses who have kept employees on the payroll, and will give as much support as needed to the businesses who are selected. Squire's sits right on the edge of the Erie County Orange Zone, meaning it can not be open for indoor dining while other restaurants a short walk away in North Tonawanda are allowed to have people inside.

"As much as I hate it, it's just bad luck. It's just being in the wrong place at the wrong time," Neuhaus said. "I feel great for the guys in North Tonawanda. I don't begrudge anyone for it... you've got to have a spot where you cut it off."

Locally, small businesses that have been able to survive are looking for smaller ways to help others turn around their luck in 2021.

Streamline Designs, a local graphics company, is running a giveaway that will give an advertising package including a full vehicle wrap to a local business that has been impacted negatively by COVID.

"We've heard stories of people having to close or revamp everything," said Christopher Lorich, President & CEO of Streamline Designs. "Anything we can do to help promote what they're doing and make it easier for them to operate we're going to do."

Over the summer, Streamline Designs got a lifeline of their own. When the Toronto Blue Jays decided they would have to play their 2020 season in Buffalo, the company was chosen to apply all new graphics around Sahlen Field to make the park seem a bit more like home for Toronto's players.

"This year was totally different, and we were blessed by getting that Blue Jays job," said Lorich. "We normally do work inside schools and shops, and all of that was taken away."

You can see more information on Streamline Designs' giveaway HERE.