The Lakers Received $4.6 Million Small Business Relief Loan, Returned It

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The Los Angeles Lakers sought and received $4.6 million from a federal government program intended to help small businesses get through the coronavirus pandemic, reports say.

The team, worth $4.6 billion according to Forbes magazine, applied for the loan despite being worth more than every other NBA team, ESPN reported.

Ultimately, team executives decided to refuse the cash after learning that the fund had been depleted.

“The Lakers qualified for and received a loan under the Payroll Protection Program,” the Lakers said in a statement on Monday. “Once we found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need. The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and our community.”

The federal program was part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief passed on April 3. The funds were part of the Paycheck Protection Program, but the $349 billion set aside for PPP quickly ran out of cash, leaving many small businesses in the lurch.

However, a list of big corporations was able to quickly apply and receive millions in loans despite being worth millions, and even billions, already.

Congress has re-authorized the PPP but moved to change the rules to prevent multimillion-dollar corporations and entities such as the L.A. Lakers from being eligible to apply for the loans meant for small businesses.

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