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Yelp hits brakes on GoFundMe button for helping businesses during coronavirus lockdown

Its notification with opt-out instructions failed to reach some businesses, the crowd-sourced review site says.

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Yelp and GoFundMe are tweaking the donation button designed to help local businesses get through the coronavirus outbreak.

Yelp

Yelp paused the rollout of a GoFundMe donation button designed help to support small businesses impacted by the coronavirus lockdowns, after the notification with opt-out instructions failed to reach some businesses.

The donation button on the crowd-sourced review site's pages for restaurants and for "nightlife," beauty and fitness businesses with fewer than five locations started appearing last Tuesday.

"It has come to our attention that some businesses did not receive a notification with opt-out instructions, and some would have preferred to actively opt-in to the program," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "As such, we have paused the automatic rollout of this feature, and are working with GoFundMe to provide a seamless way for businesses to opt into the program."

Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger kicked off a similar initiative last week -- his site SaveOurFaves sells gift certificates for San Francisco Bay Area restaurants and coffee shops.

The new strain of coronavirus, which develops into the illness known as COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and has spread worldwide. As of Tuesday morning, it had infected more than 800,000 people and caused over 38,000 deaths globally. 

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