Yelp and GoFundMe have partnered to make donating to your favorite local restaurant, coffee shop or fitness studio easy—and they're matching donations up to $1 million.

Lauren Wicks
March 25, 2020
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The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is stretching across the globe, and local businesses are some of the hardest hit. Since March 10, U.S. consumer interest in restaurants in restaurants has dropped nearly 67%—and even lower for local fitness studios and breweries. Yelp and GoFundMe are here to help with a new partnership that makes it even easier to help support your favorite local date night spot, coffee shop, gym and more.

After announcing $25 million in relief for small businesses last week (with a focus on independent local restaurants and nightlife), Yelp teamed up with GoFundMe to make donate buttons that automatically appear on the Yelp pages of local restaurants, nightlife, beauty and fitness & active life businesses. These donate buttons will link to a GoFundMe page that will go directly to supporting the local business and gives you the option to share the page on social media.

A spokesperson for Yelp told us these fundraisers will begin to appear on the Yelp pages of businesses in some of the areas most affected by the coronavirus pandemic today and will be rolling out to all eligible businesses by Friday. Businesses must have five or fewer locations to qualify.

On top of all this, Yelp and GoFundMe are kickstarting this campaign by pledging to match up to $1 million in donations (outside of the $25 million pledge announced Friday). Businesses who raise at least $500 through this partnership will receive an additional $500 through GoFundMe's Small Business Relief Fund, a nationwide initiative to support American small businesses. The spokesperson for Yelp told us additional companies are expected to get on board this week and contribute to the matching fund.

"It's our hope that with the funds raised through this partnership, businesses will be able to support their employees and cover immediate expenses so that they're in a better position to continue operating through this crisis, or able to reopen their doors once we overcome it," Chad Richard, Yelp's senior vice president of business and corporate development, said in a press release.

While you're waiting for this feature to come to your city, you can shop local when possible for your kitchen essentials and supplies (think: going to your local bakery for bread instead of the grocery store). If your favorite business is closed indefinitely, buying gift cards for yourself—and your favorite healthcare professionals—to enjoy when life starts to go back to normal will help businesses make rent and support their employees while giving you something to look forward to.