Yelp for business owners used to be just a medium to attract customers. Today, it can be used by veteran entrepreneurs to foster brand trust and accelerate discoverability with the new veteran-owned business attribute.
The trusted local information platform launched the veteran-owned business feature last October 25, ahead of Veteran’s Day on November 11, 2022. Let’s explore Yelp’s new profile attribute along with its Business Fund and Resource Hub as well as how Yelp reviews for business can help potential clients find and support your business.
What Is Yelp’s New Veteran-Owned Business Attribute?
The veteran-owned business attribute is a free “searchable attribute,” serving as an identifier or label of Yelp business profiles. It helps veteran owned businesses with discoverability on the platform. Customers using the Yelp mobile app can find the new attribute in the “Additional Info” area of a Yelp business profile. But those who use the Yelp website will find the attribute under the “amenities and more” section.
The new attribute is an addition to the growing “labels” on Yelp for business owners, including Asian-owned, Latinx-owned, Black-owned, LGBTQ-owned and women-owned. All these attributes can be added simultaneously and as many as you want to your Yelp business page to attract customers and aid in discoverability.
The Reason Behind the Veteran-Owned Business Attribute
Adopting more inclusive yet distinctive characteristics has never been more crucial for brands, as more and more customers prefer to support companies meaningful to them or share their beliefs. Per Yelp for Business, compared to the third quarter of 2021, the number of search queries on Yelp for U.S. veteran owned businesses surged by 101 percent in the parallel quarter of this year.
As such, the veteran owned business attribute is squarely aimed at helping veteran entrepreneurs foster brand recognition that leads to brand trust.
How Can Brands Opt In to the Veteran-Owned Business Attribute?
If you’re one of the veteran business owners on Yelp wishing to add the attribute to your Yelp business page, simply follow these steps:
- Login or access Yelp for Business (biz.yelp.com).
- Click ‘Add’ or ‘Edit’ in the Amenities section.
- Choose ‘Yes’ next to “veteran-owned.”
- Click Save Changes.
Opting into the feature allows your business to appear in “veteran-owned” searches on the platform, improving your listing findability. For convenience and guaranteed success, you can call in experts to help you make the most of Yelp and other listings platforms.
What Is Yelp’s New Business Fund for Veterans?
According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics 2021, 19 million U.S. veterans and about 250,000 exit the service yearly to transition to civilian life (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 2022). While many land employment in different industries, others pursue their own business. So to commemorate veteran entrepreneurs, in addition to the business attribute, Yelp also launched a Veteran Business Fund. The Fund will grant $10,000 to deserving veteran business owners and leaders in the U.S.
To spread the word, Yelp partnered with Air Force veteran, author and TV personality Mike Johnson, also an ardent advocate of small businesses. Mike assisted in launching the initiative by recognizing outstanding small veteran-owned businesses in his native state of Texas, such as Lazydaze, a coffee shop run by a black veteran.
Who Is Eligible for Yelp’s Veteran Business Fund?
The application is open only to individuals who have or are:
- A physical business in the United States;
- Registered on Yelp with a Business account;
- Your real name and photo on your Yelp business account, acting as a representative;
- 21 years of age or older at the time of application;
- A resident in the U.S. (excluding residents of other United States Territories such as Alaska and Hawaii);
- A veteran business owner with Yelp’s veteran-owned business attribute.
If you are chosen as a winner among veteran entrepreneurs, you have to:
- Submit any requested assets to Yelp and Yelp for Business, such as images and videos.
- Provide IRS 1099 obligations due to the prize’s value; and
- Obtain the necessary releases and consents, as decided by Yelp in its sole discretion; supply Yelp with the signed copies of any such releases and consents.
The winning enterprises will get $10,000 each to support their business operations. The money can be used for rent, utilities, supplies, operational costs and other costs directly related to running the business.
Note: Applications may be submitted only until November 11, 2022. Yelp will contact recipients in mid-December 2022 after all submissions have been processed.
What Is Yelp’s New Resource Hub for Veterans?
To further help veteran entrepreneurs, Yelp developed a Business Resource Hub, which offers comprehensive instructions on how companies can add the attribute to their Yelp business pages as well as useful information and tools on career development, mentoring programs, motivational stories and additional context on how Yelp is spotlighting veteran-owned businesses.
Additionally, starting in 2023, each company that chooses the Yelp feature for veteran-owned companies will receive a complimentary window decal for their storefront.
Business resources and partners include but are not limited to:
- Office of Veterans Business Development Resources
- Veteran Entrepreneur Portal
- American Corporate Partners
- Institute for Veterans and Military Families | Syracuse University
- Key Resources for Veteran Business Owners | JPMorgan Chase
- Resources for Veterans | House Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- Resources for Veteran Entrepreneurs | SCORE
How To Get More Yelp Reviews for Businesses To Attract Customers
Given Yelp’s rules, your mission as a company should be to provide such excellent customer service that a consumer is compelled to post about their experience on Yelp. Next is awareness — let people know you are on Yelp.
After claiming your page, here are Yelp reviews for business and listings management tips to help with findability and brand recognition that you are active on Yelp.
- Complete your listings management. Ensure that your company’s information, including any temporary operating hours or procedures, is updated.
- Put a Yelp badge on your website. The Yelp logo should be placed beside your social media icons for easy findability for your website visitors.
- Use in-store Yelp branding. Paid branded materials, including hours signage on their print shop, are available to order from Yelp.
- Share your reviews. Reviews are a terrific source of user-generated content (UGC). Select the top reviews, and incorporate them in a catchy social media post.
- Post business updates on Yelp. You can post updates on Yelp. So share updates and promotions that you want to communicate with your customers.
Restrictions on Collecting Reviews on Yelp for Business Owners
The Yelp review management guidelines clearly state how you cannot obtain reviews.
- Do not ask for reviews in person, online, in your newsletter, or even from your granny.
- No discounts or freebies should be given in return for reviews.
Rize Reviews: Premier Yelp Listings and Reviews Management
To recap, the new Yelp attribute is a means to identify veteran-owned businesses on the platform. And it is an addition to other attributes that include Asian-owned, Latinx-owned, Black-owned, LGBTQ-owned and women-owned. Fortifying your online presence on Yelp with such valuable features could be the missing puzzle to your success on the platform. So if you’re a business owner, veteran or not, Rize Reviews is here for you.
Rize Reviews is a team of reviews and listings management experts specializing in platforms like Yelp, Google, Facebook, Nextdoor and so on. We also offer white-label services should you need help catering to your clients. Find out how our team can assist with your Yelp review management and help your brand grow through our wide range of services — talk to us!