Yelp announces $100,000 in grants to boost local businesses and Texans
It seems like every calendar year is named “challenging” for local businesses, and never without reason. Businesses need constant maintenance to stay ahead of the community’s needs, and Yelp, the consumer ratings company, wants to help beyond its usual search streamlining.
With help from celebrity designer and born-and-raised Texan Bobby Berk, Yelp is making sure Texans have a bit of a windfall. That may be families in need of home repairs or businesses working hard to keep up; either are eligible for a grant on the second annual Make It Happen Day on August 26.
The fund attributes 2022’s challenge to severe weather, which is what launched the inaugural campaign in 2021 after Winter Storm Uri caused widespread physical damage on top of the inertia of the pandemic. While each ridiculously hot day this summer brought the threat of a power grid collapse, Texas was able to stay on its feet, and was left instead with severe drought. Houston wasn’t so lucky in September, 2021, with Category 1 hurricane Tropical Storm Nicholas.
The fund will be split between 50 Texans receiving $1,000 for home improvements using professionals on Yelp, and five local businesses receiving $10,000 each, making a $100,000 grant in total. Individuals can enter by using Yelp’s Request a Quote feature, which matches them with professionals in the area, and submitting that quote on August 26.
The businesses are already chosen, including Austin’s Texas French Bread and Round Rock’s Ambur Fire. Texas French Bread has had an influx of media attention and donated funds since a fire tore through it in January of 2022, and in August announced a return to baking at the Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline. Barbecue and “smash burger” joint Ambur Fire was damaged by a tornado in March of 2022, and reopened in May.
The other three businesses receiving $10,000 grants are Mico’s Hot Chicken in Houston, Humble: Simply Good Pies in Dallas, and The Grill at Leon Springs in San Antonio. The inaugural round of funding went to two Austin businesses — House Park Bar-B-Cue and Austin Pets Alive! — and three more in San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston.
In 2021, Yelp partnered with Grace and Frankie actress and part-time Austinite Brooklyn Decker, who calls herself a “home decor fanatic” and helped spread the news. Bobby Berk, the home renovator of Queer Eye (and the subject of lots of memes about carrying your team), is taking over the spokesperson role in 2022.
To enter to win a $1,000 “Make It Happen Day” grant, search on yelp.com for a home services business you may be interested in hiring. Under each listing, there may be a button that says “Request a Quote.” Submit the quote on the giveaway site on August 26, 2022.