Business owners give thanks for community love

2020 has been a difficult year to say the least. Yet at the same time, many businesses have risen to the occasion to continue bringing their passions, hard work, and contributions to their communities. This deserves recognition and celebration!

On Nov. 19, Yelpers from across the United States and Canada are encouraged to come together to share their gratitude through reviews as part of our largest #ThankYouThursday yet. Sharing your experiences and adventures online — through reviews, photos, and videos — is a powerful way to connect new people with businesses, which helps businesses survive. People have especially looked toward reviews to help them find answers during these uncertain times, whether it’s finding curbside pick-up options, info on businesses’ COVID-19 precautions, virtual services, home maintenance recommendations, and more. 

And businesses have been feeling the community love. We reached out to owners from across the country to share what that support has meant to them and how it has shaped their businesses. 

Read on to connect with these businesses, and see you online as part of #ThankYouThursday on Nov. 19!

Seana’s Caribbean/Soul Food
Orlando, Fla.

“Community support — whether most know it or not — you’re keeping my dream alive. You’re helping a ‘stranger’ live my motto, which is ‘bringing everyone together.’ Future community support means absolutely everything. It’s how I will remain open. I can’t thank our customers enough… We’ve had so many people who were visiting the area say, ‘We checked Yelp, and you were top-rated, so we came in.’ We have used reviews to evolve and improve.”
— Joshua Johnson, owner

Cali Comfort BBQ
Spring Valley, Calif.

“On March 17, we closed our doors for dine-in service, and we were forced to lay off 29 of our employees. After running our business for 12 years, I can easily say it was the most difficult day I have ever experienced. We turned to our community by posting our experiences online on social media and through our partnership platforms like Yelp to ask for help. Without our community coming out to buy BBQ and cocktails online for takeout and delivery during COVID-19, we would have had to close our doors altogether… Yelp Elites and new guests, who have found us through the Yelp app, have been critical to spreading the message about our digital BBQ and cocktail offerings.”
— Shawn Walchef, owner 

Hoffman Plumbing
Carson City, Nev.

“Our success is a direct result of community support. We strive to provide five-star service to every customer. We appreciate that our customers take the time to share their experiences with the rest of the community.” 
— Joe Ortiz, owner

Local Expedition Wood Fired Grill
Alpharetta, Ga.

“Yelp reviews are the biggest influence to our business… I tell other business owners that instead of an average diner eating 3-4 times a week, people are getting more fickle and eating out only 1-2 times. Reviews are much more impactful now.”
— Danny Kim, owner 

The Cambridge Club
Tampa, Fla.

“We owe it all to our generous customers. After we opened back up from the pandemic, people were really wanting a post-quarantine haircut like never before. The direct response from community had helped us bounce back from when we were closed… Reviews are very helpful as people can trust others’ experiences, and as an owner sometimes these things shine light on the positives but also the areas where we can improve.”
— Thadd and Tracy Taylor, owners

ZIPS Dry Cleaners
Indianapolis, Ind.

“We have been overwhelmed with the support of our community during the pandemic. Dry cleaning sales plummeted, but our customers have been showing up for us by buying our professionally-sewn face masks and our new wash-and-fold laundry service. We feel the love!.. Many people are skeptical of our low prices, so Yelp reviews help us tremendously. It gets folks ‘over the hump’ of thinking our price point is too good to be true.”
— Emma Frutkin, owner/operator

Yummy Pollo
Louisville, Ky.

“Yelp reviews always played a major role for the growth as well as day-to-day operation of Yummy Pollo… Outpouring of community support for a local restaurant such as Yummy Pollo as well as many other local restaurants has brought in hope. It was the silver lining to the dark pandemic, which was and still threatens the livelihood of many in the hospitality business. Following safety and social distancing guidelines, we are pouring out our heart and soul to produce some tasty food that’ll be healthy and affordable to the community. We would love to see the community support for local restaurants only strengthen in the future.” 
— Faisal Noor, owner/operator

Alpharetta, Ga.

“The Yelp community is remarkable! When we opened last year in September, they were critical to our success! They were instrumental in getting the word out about who were are and what we do. Their feedback, social media posts, bringing friends, and recommendations helped to build the Popbar base. We for sure could not do this without them!.. The community’s support IS our future. Our small business and so many others like us can’t and won’t make it without their support.”
— Charel Palmer, owner

Now it’s your turn! What businesses have helped get you through 2020? Your reviews have power. Celebrate your favorite businesses with a review or review update now and on #ThankYouThursday on Yelp!