Yelp Allows Businesses to Self-Identify as 'Asian-Owned'
It becomes the fourth available ownership attribute alongside Women-owned, Black-owned, and Latinx-owned.
In Yelp's latest effort to further promote support of diverse business ownership, the review site has introduced a new feature: a free, opt-in only, searchable attribute that allows a business to self-identify as Asian-owned if they choose.
"With the escalation of anti-Asian hate crimes and violence we've seen across the nation during the pandemic, there's never been a more important time to support the Asian American community," Yelp wrote in a blog post announcing the new attribute. "It's clear that consumers are increasingly looking to support Asian business owners as the rate of searches on Yelp for Asian-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 130 percent in February 2021 compared to the same period the year prior."
The new attribute—which appears as a small symbol with the phrase "Asian-owned" on a business's profile—was launched in partnership with Gold House, which bills itself as a nonprofit collective of Asian & Pacific Islander founders, creative voices, and leaders that aims to "unify the world's largest populace to enable more authentic multicultural representation and societal equity."
"Asian American and Pacific Islander crimes haven't stopped—alarmingly, they've come even closer to home, present in our communities from Chinatowns to Filipinotowns," Mikkoh Chen and Megan Ruan, program directors for Gold House, stated. "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."
Additionally, to ensure that this new attribute doesn't open Asian business up to further harassment, Yelp also stated the site is "proactively monitoring business pages for hate speech against the Asian community" to help protect business who choose to self-identify as Asian-owned.
Yelp has four different ownership options: Women-owned, Black-owned, Latinx-owned, and now, Asian-owned. And the site had made other changes to promote inclusivity in recent years, as well: For instance, in 2018, Yelp added an "open to all" attribute; and last year, they began adding alerts to businesses that had been accused of racist behavior.