(Washington, DC) — Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today named Eldersburg-based All Time Toys, which sells toys, games and other pop culture memorabilia, the Senate Small Business of the Week. Cardin submitted a Congressional Record statement honoring All Time on the heels of owner Jason Barnes’ testimony before the Small Business Committee last week.
During a hearing on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Disaster Assistance, Barnes, whose business was forced to recover after two 1,000-year flood events occurred less than two years apart in Ellicott City, told the Committee that the support he received from the Maryland Small Business Development Center following the floods in 2016 and 2018 was “miraculous” and helped him successfully reopen his business following both disasters.
“For too many small businesses, a major natural disaster marks the end of a dream,” Ranking Member Cardin said in a Congressional Record statement. “But for Jason and All Time, surviving two historic floods has opened up a new chapter defined by resilience and persistence.”
The full text of the Congressional Record statement follows:
“Mr. President, it is with great pride that I name All Time Toys of Eldersburg, Maryland the United States Senate Small Business of the Week.
“All Time’s story—and that of its owner Jason Barnes—is one of perseverance. That’s because All Time has recovered from two 1,000-year flood events in less than 18 months.
“On July 31, 2016, less than 2 months after Jason purchased All Time, 75 percent of his inventory was destroyed by a historic, fatal flash flood that washed through Ellicott City, leaving millions of dollars’ worth of damage in its wake.
“Within hours, countless videos of the destructive torrent rushing down Main Street were being shared on social media and on the news. One of those videos was of Jason leading a human chain to rescue a woman trapped in her car. Jason’s selfless act has been seen by millions of people around the globe and it earned him an award from the Carnegie Hero Fund. When asked about his act of heroism, Jason said that he “just wanted to help any way” he could and that he could not “just stand idly by.”
“After the waters receded, Jason had to figure out how he would move forward. Thanks to his persistence, and with support from the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC), All Time reopened less than six months later on January 20, 2017. 2017 was a very successful year for Jason and All Time: the company’s sales doubled, it drastically improved its business practices and systems, and Jason was scouting locations for a second store.
“Then on May 27, 2018, less than 2 years after the 2016 flood and less than 18 months after All Time reopened, Ellicott City was devastated again by another historic flash flood. This time however, Jason was prepared with a readiness plan and the business continuity strategies he learned from the Maryland SBDC.
“According to FEMA, 40 percent of small businesses that go through a major disaster never open their doors again. And given that Jason was a brand new entrepreneur who had lost the vast majority of his stock, to say that All Time beat the odds would be an understatement.
“Jason’s story is why the Small Business Committee invited him to provide testimony during our hearing on the Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance. In his deeply moving testimony, Jason made clear that his recovery would not have been possible without support from SBA, the Maryland SBDC and its two secret weapons: Maryland SBDC consultants Craig Panos and Garrett Clover, whose advice and knowledge Jason called “miraculous” during the hearing.
“For too many small businesses, a major natural disaster marks the end of a dream. But for Jason and All Time, surviving two historic floods has opened up a new chapter defined by resilience and persistence. He recently reopened All Time in nearby Eldersburg, Maryland, and he is once again scouting locations for a second store.
“I am proud of Jason’s Free State perseverance and I am honored to recognize him and his entire team at All Time Toys as the Senate Small Business of the Week. I look forward to watching their continued growth and success.”
As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senator Cardin continues the tradition of honoring America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to the Small Business Administration and investigates all problems relating to America’s small businesses.