The US government set up the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small businesses pay their workers while also cover expenses during the coronavirus outbreak. Los Angeles Lakers was one of the organizations that applied to the program, receiving $4.6 million. As per the NBA team's recent statement, the organization will return the Lakers PPP loan money.
As per reports, the Lakers PPP loan was returned because the program's $349 billion was depleted in less than two weeks and many small businesses did not receive any help. However, larger companies like Shake Shack and AutoNation received large loans. The Lakers, as per the statement, returned the money so they could help the people who need it most.
As per the team's statement to ESPN, they had qualified for the program and received money after they applied. However, they later realised the funds of the program had been depleted, which promoted them to repay the loan. The Lakers added that will continue to support their employees and community.
As the NBA remains suspended indefinitely, the teams could lease a lot of money, especially since the season is cancelled. If the season is carried out, they would sill loose ticket and concession sales. The Lakers have continued to pay their employees throughout the suspension. People took to Twitter to discuss the Lakers applying for the loan. Many people appreciated them repaying the money, while many argued that the team should not have applied for one.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the Lakers value was reported to be $4 billion. The team also have a local broadcasting deal which apparently makes them earn $150 million annually. Apart from the majority Lakers owner i.e. the Buss family, the team has billionaires Philip Anschutz, Patrick Soon-Shiong and Ed Roski Jr. as minority partners.