Yelp Reports That Almost Half A Million New Businesses Opened During the Pandemic

The Lempert Report
August 02, 2021

That’s down just 14% compared with the year-ago period.

More than 15% of the new entities were restaurant and food businesses. Yelp data scientist Justin Norman told CNBC he also sees a comeback “through the 260,000 businesses that have been able to reopen after temporarily closing. Between March 11, 2020 and March 1, 2021, Yelp has seen more than 487,500 new businesses listing on its platform in the United States. Yelp also reports that more than 260,800 businesses that had closed due to Covid restrictions, reopened from March 11, 2020 until March 1. About 85,000 of them were restaurant and food businesses. Norman told CNBC that of the almost half million new businesses that have opened, about 59% were within the “professional, local, home and auto” category on Yelp. Yelp said that certain trends borne out of the pandemic may be here to stay. As consumers spend more time at home, Yelp noted an uptick in interest in home improvement. The company saw that average review mentions for home office renovation increased by 75% year over year and bathroom renovations rose by 80%. “I anticipate that we’ll still see people invest in higher-quality home offices or improving their homes,” Norman said. “With warmer summer months coming and the number of vaccines being administered continuing to increase, people who aren’t planning to return to the office this year may focus on more home improvement projects.” Of the new business openings, the number of food trucks climbed 12% and food delivery businesses were up 128%. Norman said he was surprised to see some trends through the year that indicated a change in how consumers engaged with everyday life. Yelp saw that consumer interest in psychics increased 74% year over year and astrologers rose by 63%.