A few days ago, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, had stated that the tech-giant would vouch to “develop initiatives and product ideas that support long-term solutions” that would offer enormous support to the Black community. Well, it looks like he has kept up his word. Now, Google has made it easier to look out for businesses owned by the Black-community. The search feature has been added to Google Maps, too, along with the Google website. This new attribute would be launched in the US today. People whose businesses have been verified would be getting access to this feature.
The concerned merchants need to visit the “Google My Business” portal, and from there, they can append the “Black-owned” characteristic to their business.
While someone is looking or searching for any businesses on Google Maps, one would be able to see a badge that claims that the Black community owns the said business. The badge is represented by a black heart placed over an orange background, with three stripes. The concerned owners of the business are expected to claim their business on Google and confirm that they indeed own the business. It can be done via mail, phone, or email. Once this process is completed, the business owners are liable to apply for a badge.
The badge can be viewed under the “Highlights” section of the business within Google Maps and Search. Previously in 2018, Google had launched badges, which made it easier for one to recognize if a business was “Women-Led” or whether the business was “LGBTQ friendly.” Presently, a few more clarifications are required as to how Google can state that the Black community owns a particular business.
To promote the usage of this feature, Google has established ties with U.S Black Chambers, Inc, which would offer help with certain training that has been created to increase the presence of this attribute by making use of tools like “My Business and Analytics.” These training have been designed for Blacks who own any business.
In connection to all of this, Jewel Burks, Head of Google for Startups US has stated in a blog post that “Starting today, merchants in the US with a verified Business Profile on Google can add a Black-owned business attribute to their profile, making it easier for customers to find and support them. As part of our $300 million commitment to support underrepresented entrepreneurs, we’re also integrating the attribute into the digital skills training programs we offer Black business owners through Grow with Google Digital Coaches.”
Lately, it was observed that there had been a sudden spurt in searches for Black-owned businesses. People are keen to show their support to the Black community by spending money on these businesses. Post the George Floyd incident, many people and organizations have come out to offer their support and solidarity to the entire community.
Yelp, one of Google’s competitors, which has listed many businesses on its website, also states that the demand for Black-owned businesses is on the rise. People are looking out more for these kinds of businesses. Yelp’s Q2 earnings report depicts a whopping 2.5 million searches for Black-owned businesses between May 25th and July 10th. Yelp recently went on to launch its Black-owned icon.