In a blog post released Thursday, Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman announced that the app will launch a searchable attribute so businesses can identify themselves as black-owned, making it easier for customers to find them. The attribute will be opt-in so only businesses who want to proclaim they’re black-owned can do so.
Stoppelman explained that in the past week, Yelp saw 25x increase in the amount of searches for black-owned business across a variety of industries compared to this time last year. Yelp’s Curation team will create Collections of black-owned businesses across the country in the meantime before the tool is ready to launch in two weeks.
If businesses want to let customers know they’re black-owned in-person, Yelp created black-owned business decals in February 2020 for Black History Month.
In addition to this new feature, the Yelp Foundation will donate $500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative and NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The foundation also moved up their matching cap to $10,000 and will double match employee donations to a variety of black organizations such as Black Futures Lab.
“Yelp is committed to supporting our Black colleagues, standing against racism and injustice in our communities,” said Stoppelman, “and laying the groundwork for change that is long overdue.”
Mashable reached out to Yelp for more information on how or if black-owned businesses will be verified before or after they’re listed.