Yelp Will Add Search Filter to Identify Black-Owned Businesses

Yelp NYSE (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
Richard Drew / Associated Press

Business review site Yelp announces that it will provide a special search feature on its platform so that users can limit their results to black-owned businesses.

“We see you. We support you,” said Yelp in its announcement that it will build a feature to let businesses “to identify themselves as Black-owned” on the site. Yelp says that its goal is to “make it easy for users to find and support Black-owned businesses on Yelp.”

“Our country has a long and fraught history of systemic oppression and anti-Black racism that we have shamefully not yet come close to overcoming,” wrote Yelp Co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson in an email to the company’s subscribers.

Johnson’s remarks arrive in the wake of nationwide protests which have devolved into violent riots over the death of George Floyd in police custody.

“Recent events, starting with the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, have made racial injustice something that we must deal with immediately as a society,” Johnson added.

“We have a lot of work to do, and it’s on all of us to do that work,” the email continued. “As an organization with diverse employees, users, and customers, Yelp is committed to supporting our Black colleagues, standing against racism and injustice in our communities, and laying the groundwork for change that is long overdue.”

The Yelp CEO went on to explain that the Yelp Foundation will donate $500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative and NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

“Over the coming weeks, we will launch a new, free, searchable attribute that will give businesses a way to identify themselves as Black-owned, and make it easy for users to find and support Black-owned businesses on Yelp,” announced Johnson in his email.

The CEO added that he hopes this change will inspire a “lasting impact” in society.

“These steps are just the starting point as we continue to work toward longer term changes,” read the email. “The lasting impact of which we hope will inspire and reshape how we support Black communities moving forward.”

“To stop the injustice, all of us need to commit to change,” he added.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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