Yelp has been actively monitoring the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the spread of COVID-19. While the potential outcomes of this pandemic are uncertain, we have been preparing for a range of scenarios and have assembled an executive taskforce to enable us to respond quickly to ongoing changes. Our top priority is the health and safety of our community, which includes our employees and extended workforce, as well as the communities we serve. We are also committed to ensuring that the local and enterprise businesses that rely on our services feel our continued support at this critical time.
Over the month of March, Yelp has implemented the following measures to help ensure the safety of our employees, maintain the continuity of our business, and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our communities:
Mandating that employees in all of our offices work from home. As of March 19, we have temporarily closed access to all Yelp offices across the globe. Our IT team ran at full steam to equip thousands of employees, who were previously working on a desktop computer, with laptops and other equipment over a single week.
Cancelling or postponing all events. This applies to Yelp hosted events, as well as participation at industry events.
Restricting business travel and prohibiting outside visitors. With all offices closed during this period, we are no longer allowing external guests in any of our facilities. We have also prohibited international business travel and limited domestic travel to business critical needs.
Continuing to support our service workers. Yelp is continuing to pay service workers in our extended workforce for their regular working hours while their schedules may be impacted due to reduced staffing needs.
Supporting local businesses. Yelp announced over $25 million in relief for local businesses during this challenging time, as well as product changes that help support the needs of businesses and our users in this period of social distancing. We have also published information for local businesses which will point them to resources that may help them navigate changes to their operations as a result of COVID-19. Our Community team has shared ways people can support their favorite businesses in these times.
Our executive taskforce continues to meet daily to ensure we’re prepared and responsive to all our consumers, communities, customers and employees. All aspects of our business remain open and fully operational and we believe we are adequately prepared to continue to serve our users and business customers during this developing situation. We truly appreciate all the efforts of our dedicated employees who are keeping Yelp focused and nimble during this time, and we’ll continue to do our part to flatten the curve to help ensure the health and safety of our communities.