Grassroots Interactive, FSBDC, SBDC, Daytona State College

GrassRoots Interactive Center Introduces Unique Extra-Curricular Activity for Children in Ormond Beach

Florida SBDC at Daytona State College Assists Founders

December 1, 2015


Contact: Art Zimmet, Consultant, FSBDC at Daytona State College, 386-506-3252 or

Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@

Orlando – When the founders of GrassRoots Interactive Center, Rebecca Railsback and Amy Annon, decided to start their business, they had a clear vision of what they wanted it to be: all about their customers. But they knew they needed to translate that vision into a business plan. With both having parents and spouses who are Ormond Beach entrepreneurs and business owners themselves, Amy and Rebecca knew how important a business plan is to the success of a new company.

GrassRoots Interactive Center is a place where parents, grandparents and care givers can bring their child or children, ages 1 – 5, to interact, socialize, play, learn and relate. The magic in GrassRoots – and what makes it a cut above daycare or pre-school – is that the adults stays at the Center with their child. Along with bonding with their child, these parents and care givers have the opportunity to connect with and gain the support of those are who are in the same child care role they are.

Rebecca and Amy believed this business model was a winning proposition when they wrote their business plan but wanted professional input and confirmation. And that’s when they turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF’s Daytona State College sub-center for help. They had previously taken advantage of the business training workshops offered by the FSBDC and now wanted to benefit from the no-cost, expert consulting services it offered.

The consulting provided by the FSBDC at Daytona State College went beyond vetting the business plan. Their FSBDC consultant, Art Zimmet, came to the GrassRoots location and coached, guided and mentored Rebecca and Amy through a constructive and informative process to build their marketing plan. “Working with the FSBDC has been great,” remarked Rebecca. “Art has been such an asset. There are so many things he opened our eyes to and helped us with. There is so much about marketing we wouldn’t have known without his help,” she finished.

Over the course of the consulting engagement, the FSBDC aided GrassRoots in multiple ways. Art helped Amy and Rebecca adjust their business when, as is always the case, day-to-day operations turned out to be different than what they’d thought it would be in their business plan. He provided them with information and guidance and, most important, the confidence to overcome their doubts and make hard decisions, including moving to a membership business model that’s sent revenues up 470% and strengthened their relationship with their customers and children. He guided Rebecca and Amy in identifying the core value that GrassRoots offered its customers:  beyond the wonderful parent-child bonding the Center facilitates, a more important role it plays is to give parents and care givers a break, enable them to connect with other parents and get the support of those in a similar situation.

Today, GrassRoots Interactive Center is an Ormond Beach and small business success story. Membership numbers are healthy, classes are well attended and special events like birthday parties are adding to revenues almost every month. And the community is better served by the addition of a center offering unique extra-curricular activities for children.

“The FSBDC is the best hidden secret in town for small business,” commented Amy. “I can’t stress enough how valuable their help is. And all at a great price: nothing! It’s really the right first step for someone wanting to open a business, and even for existing business owners, to get them on a pathway to success.”


About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2014, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 8,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 12,387 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.70 billion in sales growth; $26.1 million in capital formation; $39.7 million in government contract awards; and 105 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2014, the Florida SBDCs served almost 30,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 42,644 jobs created, retained or saved; $5.8 billion in sales growth; $142.5 million in capital accessed; $210.2 million in government contract awards; and 486 new businesses started.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862 |