The recent Black Lives Matter protests caused books about anti-racism to become bestsellers, people to share educational resources on social media and to shop and eat at Black-owned businesses and restaurants — and in the last two months interest in Black-owned businesses on Yelp has increased by more than 7,000% compared to this time last year, the company said in a report published Wednesday.
The pandemic has hurt Black-owned small businesses more than others, according to a June report from The National Bureau of Economic Research, but the recent Black Lives Matter protests have led to increased support for Black-owned businesses.
From May 25 to July 10, there have been more than 2,500,000 searches for Black-owned businesses on Yelp, compared to approximately 35,000 over the same time period last year — a 7,043% increase.
While searches for Black-owned restaurants have remained popular, up 2,508%, the company noticed that people have been searching for more specific Black-owned businesses.
Searches for Black-owned boutiques have increased by 331% compared to the same time last year; searches for Black-owned bakeries and ice cream shops has increased by 56%; searches for Black doctors has increased by 183%; and searches for Black-owned coffee shops has increased by 161%.
Most notably, searches for Black-owned bookstores increased by 1,437% year-over-year, a trend that coincided with anti-Racism books soaring to the top of best-seller lists.
Recent Black Lives Matter protests sparked a worldwide conversation about systemic racism. The term Black Lives Matter was used on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and blogs more than 80 million times, according to data published by the Social Media Analytics Center at the University of Connecticut early this month. Black Lives Matter was widely searched on Google and covered by the media.
On July 7, in an economic protest called Blackout Day, Black shoppers and people of color were encouraged not to spend any money, and if they must purchase something, to buy only from Black-owned businesses. The goal was to highlight Black spending power.
$1.5 trillion. That is how much Black buying power is expected to reach by 2021, a University of Georgia report found. In 2016, it was estimated to be $1.2 trillion.