What you need to know
- Google has doubled down on its pledge to support Black-owned businesses in Black History Month.
- The company has promised to make it easier to find Black-owned businesses when using Google Shopping in the coming months.
- Google will also continue issuing grants and loans to select small businesses.
As Black History Month rolls around again, companies with a social justice focus such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google are sharing details about initiatives they're adopting to support the Black community during this month.
Google for its part ramped up investments in causes furthering support of Black-business in 2020 at the height of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. In 2021, it's pushing those investments further.
Writing on the Google blog, Google's Attica Jaques, Director of Brand Marketing, Consumer Apps, said:
Historically, Black-owned businesses have served as gathering spots for Black communities throughout the country and provided a strong sense of ownership and belonging for those who were denied equal rights. And today, as more Black businesses come online, they're creating new pathways for economic opportunity and generational wealth in the Black community. As we kick off the first day of Black History Month, we want to shine a light on Black-owned businesses, big and small, and honor their resilience and ingenuity.
As part of this illumination, Google will now make it a little easier to find Black-owned businesses in the U.S. It already did take steps towards doing so last year when it enabled a Black-owned attribute for businesses. This allowed users to see whether a business was Black-owned when viewing it in Search or Maps. Now, it's planning to implement a tool in the shopping tab that will let you refine your searches and surface Black-owned business faster. Google is aiming to roll this feature out in the coming months. The company says that interest in Black-owned business has grown by leaps and bounds since 2019, with search interest in 2020 being higher by 600% compared to the previous year.
Next, Google will also continue to directly support Black-businesses either via way of loans and grants through Google.org or by digital skills courses such as the Grow with Google program. Google says the 'Grow with Google' program has "helped train over 58,000 Black and Latino small business owners through more than 1,000 digital skills workshops."
It's imperative that we support and invest in Black business owners, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many of their businesses to close. Black-owned businesses have a rich legacy of community and activism, and it's our collective responsibility to ensure that their legacy continues to thrive for generations to come.
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