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Google and Yelp are making it easier to find Black-owned businesses

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In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, people around the United States and the world have sought ways to support the Black community, both in their protest efforts and economically.

In particular, many have sought to patronize Black-owned businesses in their communities to provide much-needed financial support amid the pandemic. As a result, both Google and Yelp reported a drastic surge in searches for Black-owned businesses since the beginning of June.

Both companies are now making the process of connecting Black-owned businesses to potential customers a lot easier by allowing users to filter specifically for Black-owned businesses. Yelp has added a new attribute that businesses can opt-in to (thereby letting customers search specifically for them). Google has added a new “badge” that allows customers to better identify Black-owned businesses.

What a simple, yet important idea!

Supporting protests for racial justice is of course a vital step in advancing a just and equitable society. Full stop. But as protests die down, there is still vital, transformational work to be done. When we choose to buy from Black-owned businesses, not just once or twice but continuously over a matter of years, we show them that we care. But more importantly and directly, we put real food on tables and money in bank accounts. In doing so, we help dismantle some of the most critical ingredients to chronic poverty and marginalization among communities of color across the country.

What’s stopping you from buying from Black-owned businesses?

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

2 thoughts on “Google and Yelp are making it easier to find Black-owned businesses”

  1. Is this not racist? If it was a search for white only owned businesses it would be. Or Indian owned, or Asian owned? This doesn’t help racial equality at all.

    1. Thanks Victor. No, I don’t believe this is racist. As just one example, studies are showing that COVID-19 is disproportionately hurting black-owned businesses. There are also many barriers to success faced by black-owned businesses that others don’t have to face beyond COVID-19. So in my view, this is a small step toward leveling a playing field which as it stands now is deeply unfair to black-owned businesses.

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