HOUSTON - Yelp, the business review site, announced it will post alerts on the pages of businesses accused of racism. Some say it could prevent discrimination, others worry the warnings could be misused.
"I've seen an uptick in opportunities, people reaching out, and we have a plethora of opportunities we can pursue. Before the riots and protests, we weren't knocking, we were banging on doors," said Darryl Samuels of D. Samuels & Associates.
Samuels says his construction management company has seen a boost in business since the renewed movement for consumers to support Black-owned businesses.
"That's all we really need right now is people who are willing to help. So knowing you have a friend out there I think is really important," said Carol Guess, Chair of the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce.
Yelp says it has also posted "Public Attention Alerts" on more than 450 businesses accused of, or were the target of, racist behavior.
Now Yelp says it will post a "Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert," writing in a statement, "We’ll only escalate to a Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert when there’s resounding evidence of egregious, racist actions from a business owner or employee ... and this alert will always link to a news article from a credible media outlet...."
But the reaction to the idea is mixed.
"I think it's good in a way because you know who your friends are not. But also I think it needs to be balanced, so any misunderstandings are not interpreted as discrimination or racism," said Guess.
Meanwhile, the Greater Houston Black Chamber says this year's renewed campaigns to support Black businesses are paying off.
"Some of our businesses have seen sales they've never seen because of the interest that came about from Mr. Floyd's passing. However, we need it to continue," said Guess.
Samuels says Black businesses also need to be sure they're marketing to a diverse audience.
"It goes back to if you are marketing and selling to a diverse group, you need to make that effort to have a diverse staff and you need to be able to have people in place that look like the people that you're trying to serve," said Samuels.