The Los Angeles Lakers have about 300 employees, which made the franchise eligible for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, created by the new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation. The team received a $4.6 million loan, the Los Angeles Times reports. But when the federal fund ran out of money, the Lakers did what Shake Shack, AutoNation, and other large companies have done, and sent the money back. "We repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need," the Lakers said Monday.
Congress put more into the fund last week, per the AP, and the Treasury Department asked companies last week to not apply for a loan if they can survive without it. Forbes estimates the Lakers franchise to be worth about $4 billion. Although the NBA is shut down, the team hasn't laid off any employees during the pandemic and says it doesn't expect to do so. It has asked top executives to defer 20% of their pay. The league schedule for this season had called for playoffs to have begun by now. (Read more Los Angeles Lakers stories.)