After a banner year, many small businesses are becoming more cautious about their investment and hiring plans. Some are responding to early signs of slowing sales, while others fear that tariffs, unstable financial markets, the aftereffects of the government shutdown. (Wall Street Journal)



SurePath Capital presents its third annual State of SMB Software Report, looking at fundraising and exit activity in the Small and Mid-Sized Business (SMB) software space in North America last year. The firm analyzed over 5,700 deals, narrowing them down to 553 venture deals, 37 private equity (PE) deals, 83 M&A deals, and 9 IPOs representing over $44B in deal proceeds. (Medium)



Consumer advocates and some former FleetCor executives say the fuel card firm is an embodiment of bare-knuckles, winner-takes-all capitalism, and takes advantage of small businesses who have little recourse. Defenders say its hard-charging style has generated billions for investors and made it the largest U.S. fuel-card provider. (Bloomberg)



Email is alive and continues to surprise and delight.The sheer fact that for every $1 of investment there’s the potential for a $38 return should make you stop and think twice about ignoring the power of the channel.  (Marketing Land)



As early as February 4th, you will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities, or events. Comments generated by Google+ on external websites will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and from other sites by March 7th. All your website comments made using Google+ will be deleted starting on April 2nd. (The Verge)



Mono Solutions is partnering with bfound, a provider of digital marketing solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the Middle East. The partnership provides bfound with the technology to provide small businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a professional digital presence. (Press Release)