Google’s adding a new option to help users support Asian-owned businesses, with a new ‘Asian-owned’ attribute available within Google My Business profiles.
As displayed in the video, the new ‘Asian-owned’ attribute adds a badge to that business’ display, in both Search and Maps, which could help guide users that are looking to support minority-owned businesses in their decision-making.
Google added business identity attributes earlier this year, which, as you can see in this example, already include tags for women and LGBTQ-owned brands (full listing of options here).
The tags are optional, and are only available to businesses in the US. But they could provide a simple means to facilitate support - while businesses and products that apply the tags are also eligible to be featured on Google pages that highlight brands with specific identity attributes.
And now, there’s also an Asian-owned signifier, adding to this support capacity. Which, according to research, could be particularly relevant for Gen Z shoppers, who are more likely to seek out businesses that support causes that they align with.
And many Asian-owned businesses do indeed need support.
As per Google:
“Over the past two years, COVID-related small business closures and targeted acts of violence have reinforced the importance and impact of allyship - and have underscored how critical it is to support historically marginalized communities, including our Asian community.”
Indeed, according to research, race-based attacks on Asian Americans have increased significantly over the past two years, going from an average of 8.1 per year before 2020, to 81.5 since - more than 11 times the previous average.
That’s a trend that can’t be overlooked or ignored. Which is why this is an important update from the search giant.
In addition to this, Google’s also expanding its training and support programs for Asian-owned businesses:
“Over the past few years, Grow with Google has partnered with the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) to help Asian-owned small businesses grow. To date, we’ve helped more than 20,000 Asian-owned businesses expand their digital skills through workshops focusing on topics like e-commerce tools, design thinking for entrepreneurs and making decisions using analytics.”
Expanding on this, Grow with Google is now launching an expanded program which will provide assistance to an additional 10,000 Asian-owned small businesses, helping them learn critical digital skills to meet shifting consumer demand and activity.
It’s an important addition, because again, as Google notes, Asian businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and the surrounding angst tied back to the origins of the virus. It may seem like we, as a society, are beyond misguided criticism of this type, but recent times have shown that significant divides still remain, even if we’d prefer to think they didn’t.
These new badges are a small step in supporting minority-owned businesses, but they could play a big role in raising awareness, and fostering stronger support