Businesses forced to shut down or scale back during the COVID-19 pandemic are getting a little help from their friends at Yelp and GoFundMe. Independent operators can now launch fundraisers and accept donations directly through their Yelp profile.
Look for the “Donate” button on the web and in-app pages of restaurant, nightlife, beauty, and fitness businesses for a quick-and-easy way to support your favorite establishments. As an added bonus, the Yelp Foundation and GoFundMe will match up to $1 million in contributions. Businesses must have a claimed Yelp page and five or fewer locations to participate.
“Many businesses have been required to temporarily close, making it seemingly impossible to continue to pay their staff and cover rent,” Chad Richard, Yelp’s senior vice president of business and corporate development, wrote in a blog post. “Fortunately, loyal customers want to help them weather this unprecedented crisis and are looking for ways to make an immediate impact.”
Organizations with an existing GoFundMe or that sign up through the firm’s nonprofit can also benefit from the new Small Business Relief Fund, where people can help support the overall initiative. Until depleted, donations will be paid out as one-time $500 matching grants to qualifying companies.
“It’s our hope that with the funds raised through this partnership, businesses will be able to support their employees and cover immediate expenses so that they’re in a better position to continue operating through this crisis, or able to reopen their doors once we overcome it,” Richard wrote.
The joint venture comes on the heels of Yelp announcing a $25 million relief for local businesses in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products, and services.