Yelp launched a number of efforts aimed at helping local businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
According to Yelp’s data, US consumer interest for restaurants has dropped by 54% over the past week. Nightlife businesses have been hit even harder with drop in consumer interest of 69%.
This is, of course, a result of the forced closure of non-essential businesses and the social distancing measures encouraged by the World Health Organization.
In an announcement, Yelp says it’s committed to helping businesses during these uncertain times.
$25 in Million Relief for Affected Businesses
Yelp is offering $25 million in relief in the form of waived adverting fees, free advertising, and free use of products and services.
This effort is primarily focused on helping independent local restaurants and nightlife businesses. Those that are still open will receive free access to Yelp page upgrades, including business highlights and calls to action.
Local restaurants will receive three months of free access to Yelp Reservations and Waitlist. Those that offer delivery and/or takeout will get $100 in free search advertising credit.
Yelp is also offering free use of its Connect service, which helps businesses communicate timely information to customers.
Who is Eligible?
Yelp’s relief efforts are available immediately to small, independently owned restaurant and nightlife businesses and franchisees in the US and Canada.
Eligible businesses with active Yelp Ads campaigns will automatically have their fees waved from now until the end of March. Any scheduled campaigns for the month of April will be paused until May 1.
For eligible businesses that offer delivery or takeout, Yelp will set up a $100 ad campaign free of charge during the month of April.
All eligible businesses will have free access to Yelp’s paid features from now until the end of April. No credit card is required to use them, either.
All eligible businesses will have free access to Yelp Reservations and Yelp Waitlist for three months.
For more information, see Yelp’s announcement here.