Los Angeles Lakers Received $4.6 Million From Federal Relief Program During Coronavirus Pandemic, Returned It

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The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly received $4.6 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) intended to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lakers are one of the most profitable franchises in the NBA, according to a report published Monday by ESPN.

“The Lakers qualified for and received a loan under the Payroll Protection Program,” the Lakers 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.” (RELATED: Trump Tells Harvard To Give Back Its Coronavirus Relief Money)

The franchise claimed once news broke that many highly-profitable companies received loans while small businesses received no money from the $349 billion set aside, the Lakers repaid the loan. As long as 75% of the loan goes towards the company’s payroll, the loan is forgivable.

The PPP was launched on April 3 as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. The program was designed to give loans to small businesses to help lessen the economic burden caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The funds reportedly ran out after less than two weeks.

The Lakers employ less than 300 people which allowed the franchise to apply for PPP.

A second round of PPP begins Monday.