By Jeff Green
The Buy Black movement that emerged following the social unrest and unequal impact of the pandemic in 2020 continued to find support in 2021 as mentions of Black-owned businesses more than doubled and ratings were higher than the average, according to a Yelp study recently released.
More than 45,000 business owners have opted to identify as Black-owned through a tag on the site since the search and review company added it in 2020, the company said in a blog post. Mentions of Black-owned businesses rose 165% in 2021 compared to 2019 and searches for Black-owned business were 5% higher than the three-year average, the data showed.
Black-owned businesses were hard-hit during the early stages of the pandemic. There was a 41% decline of black owners from February to April 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research found. The recovery since has also been rocky. More than half of Black-owned business had less than three-month’s cash in reserve and 45% said they have over-accumulated debt to stay in business, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. survey in September showed. In another drag on recovery, the pre-pandemic median number of employees at Black-owned businesses has fallen to six, from nine prior to the pandemic, Goldman found.
Black businesses had a higher average rating of 4.4 compared to the average rating of 3.6 for all Yelp-listed businesses. The top states for Black-owned business, based on search volume, are California, Texas, Georgia, Florida and New York, the data showed.
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