Yelp is adding a new tool search for black-owned businesses

Yelp is adding a new tool search for black-owned businesses

Dalvin Brown
USA TODAYPublished 11:51 AM EDT Jun 6, 2020Yelp is making it easier for users to locate black-owned businesses amid  renewed calls for racial equality in America. The app known for crowd-sourced reviews is launching a tool within the next two weeks that lets businesses identify themselves as black-owned, Yelp recently announced in a blog post.Only businesses that chose to opt-in will show up in the results. So far, it’s unclear whether there will be a vetting process. The platform has seen a sharp rise in the number of searches for black-owned businesses in the wake of protests surrounding the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, says Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman.  “We’ve been inspired by the outpouring of requests for this feature from users who want to support Black businesses,” Stoppelman said in the blog post.Protests: Curfews are making it harder for Americans to buy groceries, pick up prescriptionsIn the meantime, the company has put together a collection of local Black-owned businesses across the country for users to support. Shopping at black-owned businesses is one of the ways allies can support the Black Lives Matter movement, which seeks to create a world where black people have the social, economic and political power to thrive, according to the movement’s official website. Yelp said that it is donating $500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and matching donations from employees who contribute money to other black-serving causes. There has been a surge of interest in black-owned businesses in June, according to Google search trend data. And some local businesses are getting a much-needed boost because of it.Still, more assistance is needed for small businesses still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic that forced many shops, stores and restaurants to close as a precaution against COVID-19 spreading among workers and customers. While businesses across virtually every sector lost money in recent months due to the shutdowns, minority business owners may have had a harder time getting access to Paycheck Protection Loans given by the government to help. A survey of 500 minority small business owners conducted by the Global Strategy Group found that just 12% of PPP loan applicants received the full assistance they requested after the government began administering a second round of funding. Two-thirds of black and Latinx businesses didn’t receive any of it, the survey found. A separate survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 61% of small businesses overall received PPP funding. Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown. 


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