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An image from a Yelp donation program launched in the wake of Covid-19. Photo: Yelp

Yelp told employees Thursday that it is cutting 1,000 jobs and furloughing another 1,100 workers amid a massive drop in its business.

Why it matters: Yelp is the latest company catering to small businesses that has seen much of its customer base decimated amid the COVID-19 outbreak and related shutdowns.

What they're saying: "This rapid shutdown of local economies has directly affected our business, and the magnitude and duration of the impact are unknown," Yelp said in a statement. "To ensure that Yelp can weather this crisis and be best positioned to serve the community when the recovery begins, we must significantly reduce our operating costs."

Context: Yelp had 5,950 employees as of the end of 2019.

The big picture: Yelp has seen customer interest in restaurants down 64% since March 10, with nightlife, gyms and beauty salons down 70% or more, CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said in an employee email posted to the company's website.

All told, the millions of local businesses hit hardest by the effects of COVID-19 face the prospect of closing and laying off their employees, without knowing when, or if, they’ll be able to reopen.
— Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman

The company is also:

  • cutting server costs;
  • deprioritizing dozens of projects; and
  • cutting executive pay by 20% to 30%.

And Stoppelman is not taking a salary and will not vest any further stock awards this year.

Flashback: Yelp last month launched a $25 million program giving ad credits to small businesses and also partnered with GoFundMe on a donation program, though it was forced to revamp the program after some customers complained.

Go deeper: The coronavirus's domino effect on startup layoffs

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.

3 hours ago - Health

Student's death renews calls for schools to stock opioid overdose drug

Photo: Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Connecticut student's death has renewed calls for schools to stock and administer naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Why it matters: U.S. drug overdose fatalities reached six figures in a 12-month period for the first time in November, and synthetic or natural opioids were the cause of a majority of the overdoses.