Credit Union Microloans Allow Small Businesses to Achieve Sweet Success


Ronatta’s Cakery has been satisfying the Orofino community’s sweet tooth since 2009.

In Orofino, Idaho, you can have your cake and eat it, too. And you can have quiche, cookies, cupcakes, and freshly baked bread. Ronatta’s Cakery has been the premier bakery providing sweet treats for Orofino and many other nearby communities in Clearwater County since 2009.  

“I dreamed of having my own bakery since I was a little girl,” said Ronatta Norland, the owner. “I would make cakes and decorate them in my mom’s kitchen. I have since been blessed to be in business for 10 years and continue to grow and learn new things.” 

She was able to grow the bakery with a microloan from Lewis Clark Credit Union. Lewis Clark worked in partnership with the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to make $61 million in similar economic development loans last year — loans that are helping Main Street businesses across the area Lewis Clark serves. Microloans for $50,000 or less give businesses an unsecured line of credit for up to three years. 

“Our microbusiness lending focus enables us to make personal connections with our members, and take a leap of faith with them,” said Amanda Nixon, Lewis Clark’s Vice President of Operations. “Research shows that a startup business needs these types of loans most in the first 36 months of operation, and we’re pleased to be a partner to each of these businesses, helping them to become successful.” 

Lewis Clark, like many Idaho credit unions, tailors its services to fit each member’s unique needs. There’s nothing cookie-cutter about it, and Lewis Clark’s members appreciate that.  

“We are fortunate to live in a community that values the credit union,” said Trisha Baker, President and CEO. “There is so much support and loyalty from the communities we serve.” 

Now, that’s icing on the cake! 

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