NORTH CAROLINA – Through the internet and social media, consumers have a tremendous amount of power over the reputation of small businesses.

According to the 2018 Reviewtrackers Online Reviews Survey, more than 60 percent of consumers check reviews on Google before going to a business. Additionally, 94 percent said negative reviews drove them away from a business.

“It can actually be quite stressful because you don’t know who’s going to be commenting, when they’re going to be commenting,” Randolph James of Magnolia Emporium said. “You’re always hoping it’ll be a five-star rating.”

Charlotte has been the fastest growing metro for marketing and PR jobs, according to the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.

One of the largest contributors has been internet and the rise of social media.