FORT BLISS, Texas--The Small Business Administration will sponsor a lending fair geared toward assisting future and present veterans and their spouses who either want to start or expand their businesses from 8 to 10 a.m. Dec. 5 at the Center for Workforce Preparedness Building located at 1359 Lomaland, Rm. 400.

Representatives of the SBA Patriot Express Loan and Superior Financial Group will be present to answer inquiries and take loan applications on site.

"There is a 90-day deferral on the loans," said Adrian Madrigal, business development specialist. "No principle or interest will have to be paid. That is a big benefit when you are trying to get your business off the ground."

Deja Probasco-Graham, owner of Daja Ethnic Beauty Supplies and a veteran's spouse, said getting a loan was very easy. All she had to do was apply. She said most spouses don't know they can also apply for small business loans with veteran's benefits. She was recently approved for her third loan, which she said came at a crucial time when the economy is at its lowest and gas prices are at its highest.

"I was thankful and blessed that they approved me," said Probasco-Graham. "I'm now able to supplement my inventory to please my customers in these difficult times."

With the loan, Probasco-Graham purchased inventory equipment such as shelving, a cash register, a credit card terminal, wig mannequins and other supplies. She employs one person.

"These loans really work when you use them properly," said Probasco-Graham. "I encourage other spouses to apply for a loan. If you have a dream, pursue it even if you think times are hard believe in yourself you can do it they won't turn you down. There is help out there all you have to do is try."

People interested in applying for a loan will need a copy of a DD Form 214 - Discharge Papers and Separation Documents, and if out-processing, applicants will have to verify their status. Spouses need some kind of proof that their husband is either in the military or that he served. Participants will have the opportunity to apply for loans from $5,000 to $500,000.