By Rachel Holt

SAUGUS (CBS) – A Saugus Barber Shop that calls itself the “oldest barber shop” in America. Like many small businesses, George’s Barber Shop is in survival mode.

“We’re approaching 125 years, I’m proud to say. My great-grandfather started this shop and I’m the fourth generation here,” Owner Mike Moriello said.

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He continued, “it takes many, many years to build up a successful business and we’ve learned recently here with this pandemic how quickly that can come to an end.”

George’s Barber Shop in Saugus (WBZ-TV)

So, they reached out to the Barstool Fund, which has been raising money for small businesses across the country.

It was started by Swampcott’s Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports.

Portnoy said, “if COVID hit at year ten, that would’ve been the end of Barstool, and I could never imagine being in that position where it’s like- I put so much into something and just have it ripped away with nothing you can do, there’s no way to fight it.”

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It’s a cause that resonates with many, including Ernie Boch Jr., who donated $1 million to the fund on Thursday.

“My company started as a small business and I understand the trials and tribulations of the small business community,” Ernie Boch Jr. said. “It’s really difficult- especially at first- so I think we all should support them.”

George’s Barber Shop is one of 131 businesses that have been supported by the fund so far. As of 5:30pm Friday, the fund has raised over $25 million dollars.

Moriello said, “we’re fighting through it to keep it going and my family has worked a lot of years to build this business up here and I want to keep it that way and keep it going.”

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George’s Barber Shop will be using the money they receive from the Barstool Fund to cover rent. They say they hope it will help them stick around for another 125 years. For information on the fund, visit: www.barstoolsports.com/the-barstool-fund

Rachel Holt