“Local businesses are core to our communities, but the impact of COVID-19 has been tough on business owners. Over the past few months, we’ve added tools and features to make it easier for businesses to keep customers informed, including the ability to add dining options and updated hours to Business Profiles.“
Program Manager, Local Small Business Products
Recently we’ve noted that Google is adding new local-oriented features to Business Profiles of verified brick & mortar stores (or, “physical storefront”) restaurants, and other Main Sreet small businesses. Google has also been adding tools and features to make it easier for local businesses to keep local customers informed, including the ability to add changing dining options and updated hours.
Yesterday (May 11, 2020), Google announced it is adding “support links” to its Business Profiles. With this feature, merchants can provide their customers with donations or gift card links. They can also share a personal message in their post to inform customers how funds will be put to use.
To start, Google is partnering with PayPal and GoFundMe for donations. For gift cards, merchants can link directly to the relevant page on their website or to their gift card offerings with one of Google’s eligible partners, which include Square, Toast, Clover and Vagaro.
(While Google is not charging merchants or consumers any fees, there may be partner processing fees associated with campaigns.)
According to McGowan, the feature launch will begin with a subset of businesses “to protect against misuse” with plans to expand to more countries, merchants, and partners in a safe and responsible way. The feature will first be rolled to the following countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
According to Google, participation eligibility criteria includes:
- Businesses must be verified before March 1, 2020.
- Businesses must have a physical storefront.
- Owners and site managers of the Business Profile can use the posts feature to add gift-cards and donation links.
- The feature is available only in select countries.
For more information visit Google My Business help.