FORT POLK, La. — Despite the misty rain, military-spouse owned, home-based business vendors set up and displayed their merchandise in the old Commissary parking lot Feb. 6, between 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.To further support military spouse employment, Fort Polk has instituted these events for spouse-owned businesses to market their products and services.“We do not endorse these businesses, but we provide an avenue by which they can promote and sell their product or service, because military-spouse employment is a priority across the Department of Defense,” said Stacey Delgado, Employment Readiness program manager.These HBBs also offer military spouses an alternative to the conventional, out-of-the-home career, offsetting the need for child-care costs.“Home-based business permits are a way for military spouses to supplement their income in their households without having to actually go out into the workforce and create a need for daily child care,” she said.To begin, spouses must obtain a command-approved solicitation permit. From that point, Delgado will help military spouses throughout the process in establishing their business.Delgado said there is a wide array of products and services offered through HBBs on Fort Polk.“There are bakers, dog grooming and training services, embroidery shops, photographers, Mary Kay representatives and more. HBBs offer military spouses an opportunity to grow a personal talent or hobby into a thriving business,” Delgado said.“Businesses on Fort Polk are growing, but I would like to see a large-scale HBB event where the vendors take up the entire parking lot,” she said.Jessica English and Melodie Fowler, co-owners of Flour Girls, a specialty-cake bakery, said that this was their first event.“This has been an amazing program to work with; Stacey Delgado made our job easy, fun and rewarding,” said Fowler.Lisa D. Ledbetter is a Mark Kay consultant that participated in the previous HBB event at the Snowflake Festival Dec. 4.“Being new, I didn’t know anyone. The event allowed me to network in ways I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, and that is critical for any business,” Ledbetter said.“One of the neat things about the HBB events is watching military spouses support each other as patrons or as other vendors at the event,” Delgado said.The next HBB event is March 6, from 9 a.m. 1 p.m., at the old Commissary parking lot.If you are a military spouse interested in establishing a home-based business, contact the Employment Readiness Program at 531-6922 or download the application packet at https://bit.ly/39VrYbL.