Home-based businesses (HBB) are booming.

Since people are staying home more often, they are using the time to get creative and make extra money selling their creations.

U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground’s Family Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (FMWR) program offers a path to make those home-based business legal on Army installations like Yuma Proving Ground (YPG).

“What the Department of the Army did is streamline the process when spouses have a business and are moving from one installation to another installation or starting up a new business,” explains Mardy Clark, chief of the Family Support Division at YPG.

“Not everyone thinks they can be an entrepreneur. By us giving them the instructions and helping them with guidelines and regulations, it gives them the opportunity to take the uncertainty away and gives them power back so they can succeed,” adds Cathyann Robinson, YPG’s Family Advocacy Program manager.

All HBB’s operating out of YPG need to be compliant, including childcare providers, Etsy shops and mid-level marketing businesses. The process involves picking up an application at FMWR, Building 300, or Army Community Services, Employment Readiness Program, Building 309, and submitting the application to four departments for approval. From there FMWR staff take over. It’s important to note, FMWR cannot provide business ideas or help with the process of starting a small business: they simply provide the path to make it compliant to operate on the installation.

Once a HBB is registered, the business owner will be able to use window advertisements and operate out of their home as long as no more than 25% of the home’s gross floor area is used for the business.

The process takes a look at the type of business and makes sure it does not compete with the services provided by AAFES or FMWR. For example, a business offering food would have to provide specialty items like cakes and cupcakes.

“There are certain regulations they need to adhere to, so their application goes through the Safety Department and FMWR,” explains Clark.

Overall this process was established by the Army to empower spouses, Clark says.

“The military lifestyle is not very conducive for our transitions and it absolutely does not make it convenient. With them having the opportunity to have a home-based business it gives them the continuity from one duty station to another. It keeps them gainfully employed, and the anxiety and stress from leaving one duty station to another and finding a job…it can take that away.”