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SBA Launches Portal to Begin Accepting Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Applications on April 8
National informational webinar to review application process on March 30

Release Date: March 19, 2021 Contact:
Release Number: 21-22 Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs & Instagram

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a splash page for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal today in anticipation of opening applications for the much-anticipated critical economic relief program on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

“Help is here for venue operators hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA has worked diligently to build the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program from the ground up to assist and address the diverse eligibility requirements of each type of applicant and we will open for applications on April 8,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said. “The SBA knows these venues are critical to America's economy and understands how hard they've been impacted, as they were among the first to shutter. This vital economic aid will provide a much-needed lifeline for live venues, museums, movie theatres and many more.”

Prior to the official SVOG application opening, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 to 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Those interested in participating can register here.

The SVOG program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which appropriated $15 billion for it. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, appropriated an additional $1.25 billion, bringing the program funding to a total of $16.25 billion, with more than $16 billion allocated for grants.

To ensure eligible venues do not miss a window to receive assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, the American Rescue Plan Act also amended the SVOG program so entities that apply for a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, can also apply for an SVOG, with the eligible entity’s SVOG to be reduced by the PPP loan amount. The PPP loan applications have been updated to reflect this.

As the SBA builds and prepares to open the program, the dedicated SBA website,, which includes frequently asked questions, video tutorials and other SVOG details, is the best source for information for those looking to apply for a grant. To prepare in advance of the SVOG application portal opening on April 8, potential applicants should get registered in the federal government’s System for Award Management (, as this is required for an entity to receive an SVOG, and reference the preliminary application checklist and eligibility requirements.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

BEST Crowd Management


WESS, a GardaWorld Company, Announces Rebrand to BEST Crowd Management

New name highlights company’s continued growth and commitment to providing world-class event staffing and security services

Coon Rapids, Minn. — February 22, 2021 | WESS, a GardaWorld company and nationwide provider of event staffing and security services, today announced its rebrand to BEST Crowd Management.

BEST Crowd Management will carry the longstanding expertise and demonstrated success of WESS, providing guest services, gate management, perimeter protection, security response and field intrusion teams, access control, parking management, and executive protection and consulting services.

Who is BEST?

  • Decades of experience providing world-class security solutions for crowd management solutions.
  • Current partners include the country’s largest stadiums professional sports teams, college sports teams, major concert venues, and convention centers for corporate events.
  • Present in more than 27 markets and a growing footprint that reaches from California to Las Vegas, Florida and New York.

“The decision to rebrand follows from decades of experience and demonstrated success in providing the BEST for our clients. It’s time we updated our branding to reflect our standing,” said Jeff Spoerndle, Vice President of BEST Crowd Management.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, BEST Crowd Management has demonstrated its leadership, flexibility and adaptability, introducing services including temperature screenings, social distancing supervision, capacity monitoring and vaccination checks.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought crowd management to the forefront,” said Spoerndle. “Event staffing and security is no longer just about ticketing or physical security—it’s about securing staff and guests from an invisible health threat. As a result, sports venues, corporate events, and even non-traditional event venues and organizations require a partner that brings highly-cultivated expertise with adaptable skill sets and services.”

“We’re proud to announce the rebranding of WESS to BEST Crowd Management Services,” said Prentice Robertson, Chief Operating Officer, Security Services, U.S. at GardaWorld. “BEST represents the very core of the GardaWorld family, bringing energy, innovation and world-class expertise and resources to deliver highly customized security solutions.”

To learn more about BEST Crowd Management and its services, visit  

About BEST Crowd Management

BEST Crowd Management offers decades of experience providing world-class security solutions and staffing for crowd management solutions with partners including some of North America’s largest stadiums professional sports teams, college sports teams, major concert venues, and convention centers. With headquarters in Minneapolis, MN and in Montreal, Canada, BEST Crowd Management is part of GardaWorld Security Services, the largest privately held integrated security services company in the world.

About GardaWorld

GardaWorld is the largest privately owned integrated security, cash solutions and risk management company in the world, with an emphasis on integrity, vigilance, trust and respect. With a strong presence in North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and other regions servicing more than 35,000 clients, GardaWorld and its brands are uniquely positioned and resourced to support security needs, whether they are local, regional or international. The company’s brands include GardaWorld Security Services, GardaWorld Cash Services, BEST Crowd Management, ECAMSECURE and Crisis24. For more information, visit

Media Contact

 Lorianne Walker

Abel Communications for GardaWorld

(410) 688-1330

GardaWorld Media Relations Team

Interested candidates can send their resumes to Ed Mangan at

This position has 2 openings and will remain open until filled.

• Field manager assists with the operation and management of the playing surface.
• Total playing surface maintenance, including cutting, game ready preparation, complete fertilization application and equipment maintenance.
• Interviews, hires, trains, directs and supervises a staff of employees for the purpose of maintaining the field.
• Keeps accurate and complete records on payroll, inventory, weather data, maintenance procedures, and chemical applications.
• Assist with equipment maintenance and supplies/materials to maintain the playing surface and adjacent landscapes.
• Baseball Specific: Manages infield skin, mound and home plate areas, grass to skin transition.
• Should be able to lift and carry 50 lbs.
• Job requires running, pulling and lifting heavy material at times.
• All other duties as assigned.



• High School diploma or equivalent to 2 years of trade school or apprenticeship program, 3 years additional practical experience can be substituted for schooling.
• Must have at least two years’ experience in professional baseball setting. Preferred 5 years’ experience.
• Can operate a turf spray rig for liquid chemical applications.
• Have knowledge of fertilizers and understand their application properties.
• Ability to manage, supervise and train seasonal staff.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Familiarity and understanding of current federal, state and local laws and regulations affecting the management and operations of sports fields and facilities (including, but not limited to employment, safety and environmental standards, laws and regulations);
• Work non-traditional hours, including baseball season and stadium special events.
• Knowledge of warm season grasses wear and replacement, zoned irrigation, tarp deployment and weather preparation procedures.
• An understanding and appreciation for diverse cultures and an ability to work effectively and relate well with individuals of diverse backgrounds.
• The candidate must pass a drug test and criminal and credit background checks.

CLICK HERE for full job description.

Dan Mendelson, president, Unitex Direct, likes to tell a story from his engineering days to explain his approach to working with customers.  Mendelson begins: “In engineering school, I built balsa wood bridges by hand, researching every detail to ensure a strong structure.  Every beam and every bolt of the wood model had to be analyzed for strength.  Working with a customer to solve a problem is a bit like building a bridge; you have to consider every possible scenario.  If you do, the bridge to the customer's apparel program will be solid. You'll also have the building blocks to a relationship, and hopefully, a customer for life.”      

Problem solving is the Unitex Direct credo, its mantra since it opened its doors in 1992.  The company is a full-service uniform provider to many market segments, including the stadium and security industries.  Currently, Unitex Direct is the supplier of choice to 36 stadiums, including the NFL, NBA, MLB and many college stadiums throughout the country.

“Tackling a complex situation is never a burden,” Mendelson added.  “Maybe it's the engineer in me, but I actually have fun solving a customer's problem. I'm thinking about the specifics in my head, the logistics behind the solution before I'm even off the phone.” 

It is a mindset that has served Unitex Direct well in its 28 years.  A mid-sized company by industry standards, Unitex Direct is growing, a modern-day David vs. Goliath whose unmatched level of personal service has coaxed business away from some of the market's larger players.      

Mendelson credits an acute understanding of the supplier/customer relationship for Unitex Direct's success.  “You don't have a customer until they have a problem; how you solve that problem will determine whether you have a one-shot customer or have built a relationship.”  

Whether you need 3000 shirts in five days, a midnight delivery of uniforms to your stadium, or an out-of-the-box look for your luxury box arena staff, Unitex Direct has the experience in providing quality uniform solutions.  Let's take a better look at how Unitex Direct applies those solutions in the event staffing and security marketplace.