Square has announced a new debit card for small-business owners, a move that enables the fintech company to further participate in the economics of payment transactions. With the Square Card, which is free to obtain and use, business owners will be able to spend their Square balances immediately in stores and online. (Marketwatch)

For businesses of every kind the emerging medium of choice to reach audiences is the only guaranteed-delivery option the internet has left: email. Consumer email services have been around for almost three decades, but to hear email’s most ardent fans talk about it now, it’s an undiscovered country too long neglected by those who could benefit from it the most. (Wall Street Journal)

“It’s costly for small business to spend on marketing, and that’s all the more reason they should employ big business discipline around their spend,”says Format.comCEO Mohammed Ali. “Measure efficiencies, continually optimize, and analyze ROI.” (Thrive Global)

Google is testing a feature in local listings that shows how closely the businesses in the small listings match searchers. Through machine learning Google shows “a number that suggests how likely you are to enjoy a place and reasons explaining why.” (Search Engine Roundtable)

Small business owners are optimistic about the coming year. A majority or 59.9% said they will see an increase in 2019.The QuickBridge Small Business Owners Survey looked to gauge the view of owners across a range of topics in the US. This includes the economy, performance, sales, taxes, staffing, financing and more.(Small Biz Trends)

Small companies across the country are losing business because of the shutdown. Federal contractors, especially those who rely on the government for most of their revenue, aren’t getting orders and aren’t getting paid. (Associated Press)

Waitr, a fast-growing restaurant platform for online ordering and on-demand food delivery, has completed its acquisition of Bite Squad, for a purchase price of approximately $323 million.  Founded in 2012 and based in Minneapolis, Bite Squad operates a three-sided marketplace, which connects more than 11,000 active restaurants with over 6,300 employee-drivers and approximately 889,000 active diners. (FSR Magazine)