Los Angeles Lakers return $4.6 million they received from small business loan program

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The Los Angeles Lakers has returned millions of dollars it received from a program intended for small businesses during the coronavirus crisis, ESPN reports.

The team on Monday confirmed to ESPN that it repaid $4.6 million it received from the Paycheck Protection Program, which Congress set up during the coronavirus crisis with $349 billion for loans to be given to small businesses. But the program quickly ran out of money, and numerous larger companies came under fire for applying for and receiving loans under the program. Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Shake Shack were among these companies, and they later announced they’d return the money.

The Lakers has done so as well, telling ESPN in a statement, “The Lakers qualified for and received a loan under the Payroll Protection Program. 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.”

Congress recently replenished the Paycheck Protection Program, and under a new Small Business Administration guidance, the Lakers would be discouraged from applying for a loan, ESPN notes. But the program, after launching its second round of funding on Monday, may once again run out of money in just a few days.

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