Mar 27, 2020 - Technology

Yelp revamps donation program after businesses complain

Photo: Yelp

Yelp told Axios on Thursday that it is pausing a program designed to raise money for restaurants and small businesses after some owners complained they were signed up without consent and opting out of the program was overly cumbersome.

Why it matters: Small businesses, which make up the bulk of Yelp's market, have been devastated by the novel coronavirus and related stay-at-home orders. Yelp earlier this week said it was partnering with GoFundMe to make it easy for customers to donate straight from Yelp.

Here's Yelp's statement to Axios:

"On Tuesday, Yelp announced a partnership with GoFundMe to provide a fast and easy way for people to support their favorite local businesses by donating to a GoFundMe fundraiser directly on the Yelp pages of eligible businesses. In an effort to get businesses help quickly and easily, a GoFundMe fundraiser was automatically added to the Yelp pages of an initial group of eligible businesses, with information provided on how to claim it or opt out should a business choose to do so.
"However, it has come to our attention that some businesses did not receive a notification with opt-out instructions, and some would have preferred to actively opt-in to the program. As such, we have paused the automatic rollout of this feature, and are working with GoFundMe to provide a seamless way for businesses to opt into the program moving forward, as we have received a great deal of interest and support for the program from both consumers and businesses alike."

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