BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Sales dramatically decreased for a small business in Boardman after Google suddenly disabled the shop’s listing.
Ellen Harvischak and her husband have been running Sweet Grace Anna’s Fancy Cakes and Bakes for six years. But this year, their business got a little rocky.
“Around the fall, suddenly, it felt like business came to a complete halt. It was like we were maybe doing maybe 20 cakes a weekend and we went all the way down to maybe three or four cakes a weekend,” she said.
And with fewer orders coming in, the business was losing money.
“We had not had a problem paying our rent up until this point, up until the fall and you know, this is the time of year when cakes are in season,” Harvischak said.
Panicked, Harvischak even reached out to another bakery to possibly merge with them to stay in the baking industry.
Thankfully, last week, one of Harvischak’s customers put an end to the mystery.
“She said, ‘Hey, I went to your site, your Google listing, and it says you’re permanently closed,'” Harvischak said.
After finding out the news, she called Google right away. Harvischak said Google told her that the name of her business violated their policies.
“Because of legislation that is currently in place that tries to prevent sex trafficking. So any type of listing that has a female name in it, they sort of red-flagged,” she said.
Harvischak said Google had her take a picture of her shop with its signage and send it in. Immediately, the bakery was listed back on Google.
Still, Harvischak said this was a lesson learned.
“I advise everyone who has a business or some type of an organization to check their listings on a regular basis because, obviously, I did not and that has caused the downfall of my business,” she said.
After letting her customers know on her Facebook page what happened, Harvischak said her sales have been coming back slowly but surely.
“I just want to thank the community for supporting us and helping my family through a struggle that will not be forgotten,” Harvischak said.