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Visa, Yelp Pair On SMB Advertising

Visa and Yelp are pairing on an advertising initiative for U.S.-based small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), eyeing increased presence on the latter’s local search service.

Under the term of the pact, SMBs that use a Visa Business card — debit or credit — to purchase Yelp ads, and spend a minimum of $150 on those ads, will receive an additional $50 for Yelp ads each month. That benefit can accrue up to an annual limit of $600 to help grow their businesses.

Visa said in a press release on Thursday (Jan. 24) morning, citing its "Visa Small Business Outlook Report" for the winter of 2019, that expanding advertising to attract customers remains a challenge for 39 percent of firms.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, David Simon, SVP and global head of SME business at Visa, said that “small businesses are at the center of our local communities and global economies, and we are delighted to work with Yelp to offer this benefit to U.S. Visa Business cardholders that will help increase their reach online,” adding that “we are committed to helping businesses thrive and expand their purchasing power through Visa’s fast, convenient and secure digital payment options.”

The Thursday announcement follows news last week — also with an SMB focus — that Visa launched a global initiative: She’s Next, Empowered by Visa.

As reported in this space, She’s Next endeavors to support the advancement of women-owned small businesses around the world through shared research, experience and technologies. She’s Next will also feature insight and participation from Yelp, among Visa’s initial partners in the project.

In an interview with Karen Webster that dovetailed with the She’s Next announcement, Visa’s Simon said that “we know this is a critical segment around the world, and we see that, as small businesses grow, this is one of the fastest-growing segments,” he said. She’s Next, he added, will embrace new or existing businesses, and, through a “one step at a time” approach, will see how “the demand and supply match” for certain areas of expertise and insight across disciplines such as digital marketing.

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