Earlier this month, our CEO Jeremy Stoppelman shared the initial steps Yelp is taking to lay the groundwork for change and better support the Black community. Part of our commitment is to give people who want to support Black-owned businesses, an easy way to do so, and give businesses a way to self-identify as Black-owned on Yelp if they choose to do so with a free searchable attribute. Today, we’re excited to officially launch the Black-owned business attribute in partnership with My Black Receipt, a movement whose mission is to empower the Black community with economic independence by galvanizing consumers to spend $5 million at Black-owned businesses from Juneteenth (June 19) through Independence Day (July 4). The new searchable Black-owned business attribute is free and opt-in only, as the decision to self-identify as Black-owned should rest solely with the business.
In recent months, the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black entrepreneurs, with a 40% drop in the number of working Black business owners – a far greater percentage than any other racial group. According to the Brookings Institute, the net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family ($171,000 compared to $17,150). Significant income disparity, caused by discrimination, inequality and an opportunity gap, creates staggering challenges for Black business owners.
“This is the first, digital initiative to challenge Black consumers and allies to buy from a Black-owned business and upload their receipt into a platform that publicly displays how individual purchases can make a collective impact,” said Kezia M. Williams, Lead Organizer for My Black Receipt and CEO of the Black upStart. “We know that recirculation of dollars through Black businesses has multiplier effects, just like it did in Black Wall Streets across the country. Black businesses hire Black, create Black products, give to Black causes and pass down assets to Black families.”
Over the recent weeks, we’ve received an outpouring of requests from our community to provide an easy way to find and support Black-owned businesses on Yelp. In fact, this has been our most requested feature during this time, and over the course of two weeks* alone, we saw a 35x increase in the frequency of searches for Black-owned businesses across categories on Yelp compared to the same time last year. This inspired our teams to develop and release the searchable Black-owned attribute as quickly as possible to help connect people with great local Black-owned businesses in their communities.
We’re proud to help amplify this important movement organized by the My Black Receipt team and support this monumental effort at what we hope will be a turning point in our society. To participate in the #MyBlackReceipt movement, simply RSVP on their website and commit to supporting Black-owned businesses by uploading your receipt to help reach the $5 million goal.
If you are a Black-owned business and interested in adding the attribute to your Yelp page and appearing in ‘Black-owned’ search results, you can opt-in on your Yelp for Business account by following these simple steps:
- Visit Yelp for Business (Business Information tab) on desktop or your mobile browser
- Click Edit next to Known for.
- Select Yes beside Black-owned.
- Click Save Changes.
If you haven’t yet claimed your Yelp page, you can find instructions on how to do that here.
If you choose to opt in, when a consumer visits your business page on Yelp, they’ll be able to see that your business is Black-owned in the “Amenities” section on the web or “More Info” section in the iOS and Android app. Additionally, when a user searches for Black-owned businesses, a gem will appear in the search results of your business page highlighting the attribute. If you would like to receive a free “Black-owned Business” window decal to display on your storefront, simply fill out this form.
We’re committed to listening and learning about how we can best support Black-owned businesses, as well as our Black colleagues and users, and we’ll continue to explore different ways to take action in addressing the challenges faced by the Black community. To learn more, read about the initial steps Yelp is taking to lay the groundwork for change that is long overdue, and what you can do to help support Black-owned businesses.
*From 5/27/2020 to 6/10/2020, we saw a 35x increase in search frequency for Black-owned businesses (and related terms) vs over the same days last year.