As anti-Asian attacks have risen at an alarming rate in the U.S., companies across the board have been stepping up to do their part to support the AAPI community. Yelp is adding to the list by debuting a new feature today, allowing businesses to self-identify as Asian-owned.
The new category will make it easier for consumers who want to support the Asian American community to identify local restaurants and services by simply looking for the tag, "Asian-owned." Business owners can now voluntarily opt in to the category for free by logging into their Yelp for Business accounts and adding the category in the "Amenities" section.
"As part of our continued commitment to stand in solidarity with communities of color, we at Yelp condemn this senseless violence and are committed to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, inside and outside our organization," Yelp founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote in a blog post today, introducing the new attribute.
The feature was created in partnership with Gold House, a nonprofit organization of Asian and Pacific Islander founders, creatives, and leaders aiming to forge the "inclusive unity, representation, and success" of the community. Acknowledging the rise in crimes, especially in Chinatowns and Filipinotowns, Gold House program directors Mikkoh Chen and Megan Ruan said in a statement: "We hope Yelp's new business attribute for AAPI business owners helps drive safe foot traffic into each enclave, benefits local communities economically, and provides community-driven oversight and action into the safety of our neighbors and elders for years to come."
In addition to the new attribute, Yelp is also matching employee donations made in April and May to AAPI organizations helping the fight against Asian hate, as well as doubling those previously made in March. Organizations include Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), and Stop AAPI Hate. The company is also hosting forums for its AAPI employees to discuss and process the effects of recent events.
The announcement comes along with the release of Yelp's Economic Impact Report on diverse businesses, which revealed a 130% increase in searches for Asian-owned businesses in February 2021, compared to the same period last year. That surge, however, trails behind increases in searches for women-owned business, which rose by 264%, Black-owned businesses, which grew by 3,085%, and Latinx-owned businesses, which climbed by 4,077%. "In the future, once the Asian-owned attribute is more broadly adopted, we will be able to expand on this report with data that shows how consumers are interacting with Asian-owned businesses on Yelp," the report states.
Other ways to support the Asian American community include reporting all incidents to Stop AAPI Hate, getting trained in bystander intervention from Hollaback and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, or purchasing these products with profits directly going to fight Asian hate and support Chinatown communities.
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