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Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center at SIUE

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School of Business

Rainbow Station Preschool and Daycare

December 22, 2016

Metro East SBDC at SIUE Helps Existing Daycare Business Expand

22 December 2016, 9:28 AM


Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare in Belleville is an ideal example of an existing business that tapped into the complimentary expertise available at the Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

In August 2016, owner LaDonna Tunstall approached the SBDC for expertise in how to expand her business and to locate a larger space. She met one-on-one for a confidential, no-cost business counseling session with SBDC Interim Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May and former SBDC Director Patrick McKeehan, who assisted her in creating a budget to cover the expansion and relocation. They worked steadily toward Tunstall’s goal of securing a larger location on the east end of Belleville, and moving her 17-year-old in-home preschool and daycare to a building that once housed a childcare organization.

“Patrick and Jo Ann helped create my budget for this transition,” Tunstall said. “They also guided me in how to provide all the information that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services required. The SBDC also worked to help locate a site that had previously been used for a similar operation, so that has been ideal.”

The new Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare facility spans more than 4,000 square feet and is located at 2511 Eastview Drive in Belleville. Tunstall said the numbers of children enrolled in her school and daycare grew to the point where her previous space no longer sufficed.

 “I’m grateful to Jo Ann, to Patrick and to the SBDC for helping put my revised, expanded business plan into place,” Tunstall said. “Now, we have plenty of room to continue growing, and that is really exciting.”

May said working with Tunstall has been gratifying. “LaDonna has worked hard to make the expansion happen. She is truly dedicated to her children and their education. I can’t wait to see all the great things Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare will achieve.

For more information about Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare, see the company’s website or call Tunstall at (618) 744-7477.

The Illinois SBDC at SIUE assists existing businesses like Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare as well as start-up businesses headquartered in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is a no-cost service to the community supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining jobs and encouraging capital investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large. To learn how the SBDC can help your small business, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or

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