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The Barstool Fund - Oriole Cleaners (Thanks To Penn National Gaming)

Thanks to Penn National Gaming for their donation to help cover our next business.. Oriole Cleaners (Sewickley, PA)

Oriole Cleaners provides the local Sewickley, PA community with professional dry cleaning services. They proudly utilize the best products and equipment in the industry to ensure nothing less than quality with each visit.

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Reader Email

Dave,
My name is Bill Gottschalk and I’m the owner of Oriole Cleaners in Sewickley, Pa just outside of Pittsburgh. I started working in the dry cleaning business at 17 years old, and have spent the last 23 years doing dry cleaning. I started working at Oriole Cleaners 15 years ago, and purchased the business 10 years ago in 2010. I worked every day to provide my customers with a great product and customer service, provide my family with a nice life, and help my employees provide a nice life for their families. We have a great reputation in our community and we’re looking forward to celebrating our 100 year anniversary at 601 Beaver St., the main street of the business district in the village of Sewickley. Even with the dry cleaning industry on a decline due to casualness of the modern business world, we fought through, adapted to the times, and maintained profitability. March 16, 2020 came, and everything changed. Lock downs came, people stopped going to the office, stopped going out, and stopped going to the dry cleaners. Business was turned off like a switch almost over night, and the ensuing days/weeks turned into worrisome ones. At first they told us here in Pa, “2 weeks to flatten the curve”, and I figured no big deal, I had some savings, I could carry the business and my employees for a few weeks. We all know what happened next, 2 weeks turned into a year and counting. After weeks of sales being down over 90%, I was running out of money and things were starting to look grim. Thankfully, the government stepped up and provided us with the PPP program to help pay our employees, they provided us with 2.5 months of wages for the employees. In addition to the payroll, I have rent, utilities, supplies, taxes, insurance, and more that I’m responsible for, let alone my own family to provide for. With hope in my mind and fight in my heart, I had no choice but to secure a loan to provide the capital needed to tread water and attempt to see this thing through. Here we are 1 year into this travesty, sales range between 40 and 50% of normal, and my loan money is beginning to run thin. I’m sure the number of requests you’re going to receive will far out number the number of people you are going to be able to help, but I want you to know that whether I’m chosen or not, you’re top notch in my book. The willingness to help others in their time of need shows the true character of a man. The trickle down effect of the businesses you help will give countless families a chance to make it through this without losing everything they’ve sacrificed for. Thank you for your consideration.

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