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How Google is making it easier to identify Black-owned businesses

Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently pledged $175 million toward supporting Black businesses.

Google

It just got easier to search and find Black-owned businesses on Google.

The tech giant’s latest feature will allow for American-based Black entrepreneurs to make it visibly known through Google Maps and Google’s search engine with the placement of an orange-striped badge with a black heart in the center.

To apply for the badge, Black business owners must verify their company by mail, phone, or email. At the moment, it’s unclear how Google will authenticate whether or not the business is actually Black-owned.

In a partnership with Google, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) will help bring awareness about the badges and will also provide training on how Black-led businesses can increase their online presence through the use of Google My Business and Google Analytics.

The advantageous move comes after CEO of Google and Alphabet Sundar Pichai made a commitment to do more for the Black community amid Black Lives Matter protests following the police killing of George Floyd. The initiative includes a pledge of $175 million toward funding more Black businesses. Pichai also made a promise to increase Black representation in leadership.

Google reports “a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses” as worldwide protests in the fight for social equality progresses.

“It’s been inspiring to witness so many people look for ways to invest in the Black community,” Head of Google for Startups Jewel Burks Solomon said in a blog post. “With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most.”

In 2018, Google made a similar maneuver by creating badges for women-owned businesses and businesses that are friendly towards the LGBTQ+ community.

According to The Verge, Yelp introduced its own Black-owned icon recently after noticing an uptick in more than 2.5 million searches for Black-owned businesses between May and July.

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