HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Saturday marks a year since the first cases of coronavirus were announced in the Midstate.

It’s been a year full of challenges for Sweet Confections Cakes, but somehow through all of the ups and downs, they’ve managed to keep the business going.

Owner Darmayne Robertson remembers last March as a frightening time to be a small business owner.

“Sheer panic, that’s what I remember,” Robertson said. “We started getting the cancellations, the postponements. Then the Governor shut everything down. “

Her cake business is built around gatherings and helping people celebrate special occasions. So the new rules were a devastating blow.

“My fear was that we were going to lose the business, we were going to lose everything,” Robertson said.

Robertson wasn’t about to give up.

“I needed the business and I needed the money. I needed to make sure that my staff was able to work,” Robertson said.

So she leaned into delivery services to reach new customers and started making specialty holiday treats like Valentine’s Day boxes. Then she stepped up the businesses’ social media to get the word out.

“You have to come up with creative ways to advertise your business to let people know who you are and where you are,” Robertson said.

A year later things are looking up.

“I don’t have that panicky feeling that we’re going to lose the business, because we are picking up business,” Robertson said. “Everything seems to be going back on track. The weddings are back on the books.”

It’s been a struggle, but her business survived — so everything else is just icing on the cake.

“We’re still standing, that we’re all going to make it through this. Just keep the faith,” Robertson said.

Robertson says they’ve also taken advantage of a few different grant programs to help them out.

The state recently gave out millions of dollars to counties for a new grant program. You can find details here.

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