By Michael Howell
On Monday, August 8 at the county commissioner’s office, officials from Ravalli County Economic Development Authority (RCEDA) presented a check for $10,000 to Eileen and Dave Roiter that will go toward opening their new business called Harvest Moon Bakery. The couple hopes to open the doors to their new business, located on the corner of 1st and Main Streets in Corvallis, under the harvest moon next month. The couple received the loan through the county’s Micro-loan Program administered by RCEDA.
The RECEDA Micro-loan Program was started by the County Commissioners in 2010 with $100,000 in county funds. The program works as a revolving loan fund so that money being paid on the loans goes back into the fund to support new loans in the future.
According to John Schneeberger of RCEDA, including the most recent loan to the Roiters, the RCEDA has loaned out a total of $31,000 to date. That includes loans to four other valley businesses, a technology company in Stevensville called BVS, Pinnacle Sewing in Darby, Plenty Coups Traditional Archery in Victor, and Emergent Institute, a Hamilton business providing jobs for disabled people.
The aim of the micro-loan program is to help small businesses start up or expand when normal financial avenues are not available. The limit on each loan is from $2,000 to $10,000 with about a five-year payback plan.
Schneeberger said that the program is doing well and all the clients are current in their payments. He said interest in the program is growing.
“We really count on a good business plan and a good payback plan,” said Schneeberger. He said if someone does need help creating a plan, that help is available for a minimal cost through RCEDA and its partnership with Bitterroot College and the Hamilton Job Service, all of which share the facility located on Old Corvallis Road.