Yelp to open DC office

Yelp to open DC office
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Yelp announced on Friday that it’s opening a new office in Washington, D.C., as the digital small business directory beefs up its federal lobbying efforts.

In a post, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman cited the city’s “proximity to other East Coast locations, top-notch public transportation” and its “thriving technology community,” as reasons for why the company is deciding to open up its D.C. office.

The move happens to coincide with Yelp, along with much of the technology industry, significantly beefing up its efforts in lobbying on Capitol Hill. The internet company has increased its lobbying spending every year since 2013. In 2016, it spent an all time high of $590,000.

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The company has focused on putting money behind legislation that makes it illegal for businesses to file lawsuits against consumers who review them on websites like Yelp. The company’s lobbying disclosures show that it has also put money into lobbying on online competition, which has become a larger issue as the media and lawmakers have begun to scrutinize internet companies like Google and Amazon for their expansive reach.

A source familiar with the company’s decision said that Yelp had considered other cities, including those outside the east coast before settling on D.C.

The company says that it will begin construction of the office the office this summer and begin staffing up late this year. Yelp says it plans to hire roughly 500 employees in the office.