The Los Angeles Lakers said they have sent back funds allocated to the team through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program after reports that thousands of struggling small businesses did not receive any relief money, ESPN reports. The franchise, which was reportedly worth over $4 billion before the pandemic, received $4.6 million through the federal program designed to provide financial help to small businesses. “The Lakers qualified for and received a loan under the Payroll Protection Program,” the team said in a statement to ESPN. “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 team was one of the first organizations to receive the loan from the initial $349 billion in the program, which was depleted in a matter of days. Trump last week signed a $484 billion bill into law that replenished the program after over a week of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans about certain restrictions to the funds.