The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has altered every aspect of our lives in the last few weeks. Businesses of every kind—and particularly restaurants and bars—have been hit especially hard by voluntary and official measures to slow the spread of the virus.
Editor’s note: On April 23, the relief program was extended through May 25, 2020. This post has been edited to reflect that new end date for this program.
Local businesses are Yelp’s lifeblood, and we want to do what we can to help them during this extremely challenging time. On March 20, we announced more than $25 million in relief, primarily focused on supporting independent, local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products, and services during this period.
Even as we roll out this relief program, we’re continuing to explore ways we can do more to support local businesses, and our teams are also working with our regional and national clients to ensure we are supporting them during this period.
Businesses that are eligible
These relief efforts are available to small, independently owned restaurant and nightlife businesses and franchisees in the U.S., Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico with fewer than five locations.
Relief for restaurants and bars with Yelp Ads campaigns
For eligible local businesses that purchased a Yelp Ads program directly from Yelp and that still had their campaigns active as of March 19, 2020, we’re offering relief in several forms during this difficult period.
We are waiving charges for your Yelp Ads delivered in the second half of March (March 16-31), after local and federal governments increased restrictions in the face of the pandemic. This waiving of ad charges will happen automatically—you don’t need to do anything to get this relief.
We are pausing your scheduled Yelp Ads program through May 25. Your program will restart on May 26 automatically. If you would like to restart your Yelp Ads before May 26, simply click here to log in to your account and keep your ad live. Your Yelp Ads will resume within two business days. You can also visit the billing page in your Yelp for Business account or contact our Customer Success team to restart (contact details are in your account).
If you offer delivery or takeout, we will set up a $100 Yelp Ads campaign free of charge for the period of April 1-30, 2020, and another for the period of May 1-25, 2020. These $100 ad campaigns will run automatically for any restaurant that has indicated on their Yelp Page that they offer delivery or takeout (or both) as of 11:59 p.m. PDT on March 31, 2020. Learn how to indicate the availability of takeout and delivery on Yelp.
You won’t have to pay for any other Yelp paid features or page upgrades that are active on your account as of March 19 for the period from March 16 – May 25, 2020. This will happen automatically for eligible businesses.
If you were already using Business Highlights, Call to Action, or Yelp Connect—or any Page Upgrades—as of March 19, 2020, we’ll waive the charges from March 16 – May 25, 2020. This will happen automatically—you don’t need to do anything.
Relief for restaurants currently using—or interested in—Yelp Reservations and Yelp Waitlist
For eligible restaurants that are currently using—or would like to try—Yelp Reservations and/or Yelp Waitlist, we’re offering free access to those products for three months.
If you haven’t been invoiced for March yet, you won’t be charged for the months of March, April, and May. If you have already been invoiced for March, you won’t be charged for the months of April, May, and June. This will happen automatically—you don’t need to do anything.
If you haven’t already tried Yelp Reservations and/or Yelp Waitlist, we’re offering it free for up to three months. Call (844) 889-1617 to sign up.
Relief for local businesses beyond restaurants and bars that advertise on Yelp
If you want to pause your Yelp Ads program during this time, you can do so, and we’re offering a credit to be applied to your first bill after your restart date. If you’re unsure how to pause your Yelp Ads and redeem this offer, contact your customer success representative. Contact information is available in your Yelp for Business account.
Additionally if you are a local business that advertises on Yelp in the Beauty, Active, Arts, Education, Events, Food, Hotels/Travel, or Shopping categories:
If you were already using Yelp Connect as of March 31, 2020, we’ll waive the charges through May 25, 2020. This will happen automatically—you don’t need to do anything.
Frequently asked questions
How do you define “small business”? How can I tell if I’m eligible?
These relief efforts are primarily only available to small, independently owned restaurant and nightlife businesses and franchisees in the U.S., Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico with fewer than five locations and that purchased their Yelp products directly through Yelp. The benefits for businesses outside of the restaurant and nightlife categories are for small, independently owned businesses and franchisees in the U.S., Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico with fewer than five locations who purchased their Yelp Ads programs directly through Yelp.
Some of these businesses may be eligible. If you’re not sure about your eligibility, log into your Yelp for Business account and look for notifications indicating your eligibility. If you still have questions, contact us using the contact information in your account.
I’m not in an area with mandated closures for the Coronavirus. Am I eligible?
Yes, these offers apply to eligible businesses even in cities and states without mandated closures.
Do I have to mark my business as temporarily “closed” to be eligible?
No. These offers apply to eligible businesses that are still open, as well as those that may have temporarily closed.
I don’t want to pause my Yelp Ads in April and May. How do I keep them on?
You can also visit the billing page in your Yelp for Business account or contact our Customer Success team to restart (contact details are in your account).
How do I restart my Yelp Ads on May 26?
Your Yelp Ads will automatically resume on May 26.
What should I do if I want to pause my Yelp Ads beyond May 25?
If you’re unsure how to pause your Yelp Ads, reach out to our Customer Success team—contact details are available in your Yelp for Business account.
If you already set a date beyond May 26 to restart your ads—or if you have marked your business as temporarily closed with an open date beyond May 26—your ads will not restart on May 26 but instead will restart on the date you selected.
Can I make adjustments to my Yelp Ads during the pause period?
No. To make changes to your ad, you will need to log in on May 26 to make your changes once your campaign restarts.
I’m currently advertising with a promotional credit or ad budget. What happens now?
Your existing promotional credit or ad budget will continue to apply in March but will be put on hold when we pause your campaign in April and May. Any remaining credit or ad budget will resume when your Yelp Ads restart on May 26.
Do I have to enter a credit card to get the free Page Upgrade features and Yelp Connect?
No credit card is required to get free access to Business Highlights, Call to Action, or Yelp Connect during this period. These are enabled in your Yelp for Business account.
Will I be charged for any of the free features you’re offering (Page Upgrades and Yelp Connect) after May 25?
If you were not paying for Business Highlights, Call to Action, and/or Yelp Connect on March 19 prior to this offer, and you activated these products when they were made available to you during this offer period, you will not be charged. They will be automatically cancelled on May 26 unless you proactively purchase them on a go-forward basis.
If you were already paying for Business Highlights, Call to Action, and/or Yelp Connect on March 19, these previously purchased products will remain active on your account and page after the free period, and we will resume charging you for that product or products beginning May 26, 2020.
Do I have to be a current Yelp Ads customer to get the free $100 ads for delivery and takeout?
Businesses with Yelp Ads campaigns that start after March 19—or that were cancelled before March 19—are not eligible for this offer for current customers. For businesses not currently running Yelp Ads, contact us at (877) 767-9357 for available promotions.
I’m not currently advertising with Yelp. Can I sign up for Yelp Ads now and get them free for the rest of March?
The offers for current Yelp Ads customers are not available for businesses who were not advertising as of March 19. However, you may be eligible for relief offers for restaurants and bars that don’t advertise on Yelp. Contact us at (877) 767-9357 for available promotions on Yelp Ads for businesses not currently advertising.
I already cancelled or paused my Yelp Ads campaign before March 19. Am I eligible?
Businesses must be currently advertising as of March 19, 2020, to be eligible for the $100 Yelp Ads campaigns for delivery and takeout restaurants in April and May.
I don’t want to use this offer now—can I get these benefits in the future?
These offers are only available for the dates indicated. For future promotions, contact us at (877) 767-9357 for available offers when you’re ready to advertise.
I don’t use Yelp Reservations or Yelp Waitlist currently. Am I eligible for three months free?
Yes, this offer is available to all small, independently owned restaurants with fewer than five locations, including those not currently using these products. If you would like to try Yelp Reservations and/or Yelp Waitlist free for up to three months, call (844) 889-1617 to sign up.
I still have questions: Who can I talk to?
If you have any questions or concerns or if there is anything we can do to help, log into your Yelp for Business account for Yelp contact details. Our customer success and account teams are fully staffed and ready to assist.