The government stays fucking up; I don’t know how else you want me to put it. If it’s not the president telling folks to take a shot of bleach, it’s the botched rollout of programs meant to help the American people. Take, for instance, the Paycheck Protection Program.
ESPN reports that the Los Angeles Lakers franchise is the latest organization to return money received from the program. The basketball team received a $4.6 million loan from the fund meant to help small businesses.
“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 said in a statement released to ESPN. The Lakers are one of the NBA’s most profitable franchises with a net worth of $4 billion before the shutdown. Their broadcasting deal nets them an additional $150 million at an annual rate. The NBA extended the team’s credit limit to $1.2 billion once the closures went into effect.
The Lakers are the latest multimillion dollar organization to return money received from the PPP. Shake Shack returned a loan for $10 million and Autonation returned a loan for $77 million. The initial $349 billion PPP sum quickly dried up in less than two weeks. Outrage was sparked when it was revealed that companies like Shake Shack received million dollar loans while hundreds of small businesses, such as Ben’s Chili Bowl in D.C, were shut out.
An additional $310 billion of funding was authorized last Friday. It’s expected that most of it will go to small businesses who didn’t receive funding the first time. The SBA has added guidelines that discourages wealthier companies from applying and has closed some of the loopholes that allowed some of the aforementioned companies to receive such large loans.