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July 25, 2011

Meet the 2011 Yelp Small Business Advisory Council

This year, nearly 1,000 business owners across the U.S. and Canada applied for an opportunity to be a part of the next Yelp Small Business Advisory Council (YSBAC). The council provides Yelp management with input and guidance regarding the concerns of small business owners. It is our pleasure to present the 12 members who will sit on this year’s council:

View 2011 Yelp Small Business Advisory Council in a larger map

The selection process was not easy. We had the challenge of creating a diverse group that could represent many aspects of Yelp’s business community including: small town businesses, and businesses in major metros; non-advertisers, current advertisers, and former advertisers; multi-location and single location businesses; and categorical diversity (restaurants, health & beauty, nightlife, retail, medical, local services, etc.) We also retained two members from the inaugural council (Kurt Huffman, and Tim Gorin) to provide additional guidance and perspective for our new members. Although they come from vastly different backgrounds, the 12 members of YSBAC share the common thread of wanting to play an active role in how fellow business owners are thinking about and leveraging their presence on Yelp.

Activities of the YSBAC will include:
  • A business owner summit at Yelp HQ in San Francisco, CA.
  • Participation in a monthly conference call that will provide early access to product and business updates, as well as the opportunity to offer feedback on features under development.
  • Ongoing meetings with Yelp's individual business units to provide valuable input on existing features and policies, and act as a sounding board for those in development.
  • Serving as a resource for other business owners who have questions about the services and tools on Yelp.
At Yelp, we love to work closely with the small business community. In addition to the YSBAC, we will continue to offer: free monthly webinars, informative content on our Blog for Business Owners, and educational sessions with our Business Outreach team across the country. This is another step towards developing partnerships with small business owners, and we look forward to kicking off this year’s council.