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Black-owned Beauty Businesses Thrive on Yelp

Data from Yelp shows heightened interest in Black-owned beauty businesses.

The push to buy Black isn’t just hitting beauty products. Black-owned professional beauty businesses such as nail and hair salons, spas and barbershops have seen a lift in searches on Yelp, in spite of challenges to the professional sector caused by the pandemic.

According to Yelp, searches for Black-owned service businesses skyrocketed 2,400 percent in 2020, and Black-owned businesses saw a 232 percent increase in review mentions.

“We’ve seen our user show unprecedented interest in Black-owned businesses,” said Tara Lewis, senior vice president of community expansion and trends at Yelp.

Although momentum has slowed — a statement from Yelp in August 2020 pointed to a 6,520 percent growth in searches for Black-owned businesses during the summer months — the company credits consistent growth to its own diversity commitments.

“This year, we launched a searchable attribute that gives businesses a way to identify themselves as Black-owned,” Lewis said, adding that Yelp signed the 15 Percent Pledge as related to community events and social media marketing. Here, the top cities and sectors for Black-owned beauty businesses in 2020.

Top 5 Cities for Black-owned Beauty Businesses:
1. Atlanta
2. St. Louis
3. Philadelphia
4. Washington, D.C.
5. Baltimore

Beauty Businesses by Percent Growth:
1. Barber shops – 1,122 percent
2. Hair salons – 499 percent
3. Nail salons – 164 percent
4. Spas – 55 percent

Source: Yelp
Time period: Year-over-year, 2019 to 2020.

For more from WWD.com, see:

EXCLUSIVE: Revolve Turns to Mentorship to Show Greater Support for Black-Owned and Black-Designed Brands

A Brief History of Black-owned Beauty Brands

Follain to Help Black-owned Beauty Brands Get EWG-verified