- Yelp has partnered with Gold House, a nonprofit focused on unity, representation and success of Asians and Pacific Islanders, to provide a way for businesses to self-identify as Asian-owned if they choose to do so, according to a Yelp blog post. This searchable feature is opt-in only.
- Searches for Asian-owned businesses increased 130% in February compared to the same period a year ago, according to Yelp's April 2021 Local Economic Impact Report.
- Last year, Yelp added a similar filter for businesses to self-identify as Black-owned and created consumer alerts to caution patrons about businesses that have been accused of overtly racist actions.
Not only were searches for Asian-owned business up in February, searches rose 652% for Asian-owned coffee shops, according to Yelp's latest economic report. The addition of the filters will help consumers find and support Asian-owned restaurants in the wake of a rise in hate crimes.
"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 at Gold House, said in a statement.
The Los Angeles Police Department noted 15 anti-Asian hate crimes were reported in 2020 compared to seven in the previous year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The New York Police Department set up the Asian Hate Crimes Task Force in 2020 and reported 28 COVID-19-related Asian hate crimes. In 2019, there were only three Asian hate crimes reported in the city, according to CNBC. The Asian American Federation, a nonprofit advocacy group, created a bias reporting form last year to report hate crimes in the tri-state area and has received over 500 reports.
Asian-owned restaurants and businesses have also been hit particularly hard by the economic impact of the pandemic. Activity at small businesses posted a 22% decline from February to April 2020, but Asian-owned businesses saw a steeper decline of 26% during that time frame. This impact was even more dramatic for Chinese restaurants, which had a closure rate of 60% as of April 9, 2020, according to data from Womply. While that rate declined during much of last year, it rose again in late March, reaching a 40% closure rate in early April.
"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," Chen and Ruan said.