The Los Angeles Lakers announced they are returning a $4.6 million loan they received from the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was created to provide small businesses with forgivable loans during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lakers, who have 300 employees, said they qualified for the loan under the terms of the program, but decided to return the money when they learned the PPP had run out of cash, leaving hundreds of thousands of businesses shut out of the program.
"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."
The Lakers are the second most valuable team in the NBA. According to Forbes, the Lakers are worth $4.4 billion, just behind the New York Knicks, who are valued at $4.6 billion.
The Lakers aren't the only organization to return the money they received through the program. At least 13 public companies have returned a combined $170 million in loans they received through the PPP.
Last week, President Donald Trump signed a coronavirus relief bill that provided an additional $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program.