What you need to know
- Google has added "Black-owned" as an attribute Business profiles can now adopt.
- The company is doing this as part of an initiative to elevate Black businesses in the U.S.
- It also announced the inaugural class of its Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders.
Google is now making it easier for Black-owned businesses to market themselves as such with a new marker in maps. It's now possible for business profiles to add a "Black-owned business attribute" to their profile so when a searcher enters a term that brings up the store, that attribute will be displayed prominently on both Seach and Maps. Attributes, for the uninformed, are the little things that appear under a business when you search for it in Maps. Things like outdoor seating and accessibility arrangments show up there. Google has also added Woman-led as a business attribute in the past.
Jewel Burks, head of Google for Startups U.S. said:
With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most.
"Everyone who comes into this store is welcome," says Janet Jones, founder and co-owner of the Detroit-based Source Booksellers. "For us, being Black-owned means serving the community we're in."
By adding the attribute, people using Google Search and Maps can see Source Booksellers is Black-owned, and easily extend their support by purchasing one of their products, leaving a great review and sharing their Business Profile with others looking for their next book.
As the Black Lives Matter created a conversation around how companies like Google supported Black employees and customers, it chose to invest money into inequality reducing initiatives. It donated to a police reform fund last month, it also set aside money to elevate Black YouTube creators. The conversation may not be as loud now as it was in May or June, but Google is still helping regardless.
The company is also announcing two other initiatives to help Black businesses, including the inaugural class of its "Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders" program and integration of the Black-owned business attribute into "Grow with Google Digital Coaches" programs.