Google is adding new ways to help users find and support . Starting last July, US merchants with a verified Google Business Profile could add a Black-owned business attribute to their profile so customers can see that it’s Black-owned when they find that business through Google Search and . This week, Google extended the Black-owned attribute to the site’s Shopping tab, so people can more easily find and buy from Black-owned businesses. The feature will be available to all US-based shops and visible to shoppers in the coming months, the company said in a blog post.
Searches on Google for “Black owned businesses” have jumped 600% over the last 12 months, according to the post. However, one report found that 41% of Black-owned businesses had been closed due to . Google partnered with Opportunity Finance Network to provide more than $30 million in loans and grants to support these businesses, as part of the tech giant’s $50 million commitment through the Grow with Google Small Business Fund unveiled in June.
As part of Google’sto support underrepresented entrepreneurs, the company will integrate the Black-owned business attribute into the digital skills training programs offered to Black business owners through Grow with Google Digital Coaches. Digital Coaches offer free mentorship, networking and workshop opportunities to Black and Latinx businesses across the US.
Google recently expanded its Grow with Google Digital Coaches program to 20 cities across the US, reaching an additional 50,000 Black-owned businesses. Google’s digital coaches have trained more than 58,000 Black and Latino small business owners to date, according to the post.
Back in July, the Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders also kicked off its work with a first cohort of 12 startups. The group includes the founders of Clerkie, a business designed to help Americans get out of debt; Upswing, dedicated to improving the online education system; and MindRight Health, which provides digital mental health services for young people. The founders will get training and support from Google and other industry experts on technical challenges, business growth and outside investment opportunities, according to a blog post.
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