The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect people and businesses throughout the country and the world.
Many teams across all sports have taken measures to help them through these tough times and the Los Angeles Lakers are no exception as the team reportedly asked senior-level staff to take salary reductions, though the team also paired with the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Kings to help pay the salaries for Staples Center staff.
It is a difficult position to be in as NBA teams are obviously extremely profitable normally and have a lot of employees to pay and few teams in all sports are more profitable than the Lakers. But with no profits coming in thanks to the stoppage, teams have to find ways to get through the times.
Some businesses are able to receive loans to help them and the Lakers applied for and received one from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. However, upon receiving it, the Lakers chose to return the money, according to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
The Los Angeles Lakers have returned approximately $4.6 million that they received from a federal government program intended to help small businesses weather the economic burden caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the team said in a statement to ESPN on Monday.
In the statement, the Lakers noted they wanted to return the money after finding out that the program’s funds had been depleted:
“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.”
This is a truly beautiful decision by them and shows how they really are a family-run business at heart. No one is making the money they once were and any business — regardless of how big — would want to make sure they can keep up their profits.
However, the Lakers understand and care about the smaller businesses that are even more affected by this pandemic. Even though it is a struggle for the Lakers, it is a much bigger struggle for much smaller businesses around the country.
The Lakers will still be around at the end of this but some of those other businesses might not be and in this move, they are looking out for them.