LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers repaid a loan of approximately $ 4.6 million in aid to coronavirus companies after learning that the program had been used up.
The Lakers applied for the loan under the Small Business Administration's paycheck protection program, which is part of the federal government's $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package.
The Lakers' application was approved in the first round of distribution, but after the fund ran out of money in less than two weeks, the team returned its loan, as did several wealthier companies, including Shake Shack and AutoNation.
The Lakers made a statement on Monday confirming what had happened.
"The Lakers qualified for the Payroll Protection Program and received a loan," the statement said. “However, when we found out that the program had used up the funds, we repaid the loan so that the financial aid could be directed to the most needy. The Lakers are still fully committed to supporting both our employees and our community. "
ESPN first reported on the Lakers' decision.
The finance department issued further guidelines for the loan program last week and urged companies not to apply for the funds if they did not need the money to survive.
The Lakers qualified for the program because they only have about 300 employees. However, the team is believed to be the NBA's second most important franchise. Forbes estimates the value at around $ 4 billion.
The 16-time NBA champions play in the country's second largest media market, and their current squad, led by superstars LeBron James and Antony Davis, headed the Western Conference when the NBA interrupted the game last month.
The Lakers did not leave or lay off employees during the coronavirus pandemic, and the franchise is not planning any cuts. The team's top executives agreed to postpone 20% of their salaries until later this year or early next year.
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