Welcome back to another episode of This Week in Small Business. This week, I'm joined again by my friend John "Colderice" Lawson -- at least for part of the show -- and we're talking about the top stories appearing this week on Small Business Trends. In this show, I start (waiting for a flight in Las Vegas) with a look at the history of business communications. It's a great look at how we first started communicating with each and how it's evolved into our always connected world today. I then give my thoughts on customer pain points and how to address them all. Finally, I'm joined back at home by John where we wrap up the show by talking about niche social media. John and I remember when niche social media was essentially an online bulletin board. Yes, they still exist, but we see again that what's old is new again. For more of the best articles appearing on Small Business Trends this week, check out our roundup below: Economy Online Lending Led U.S. Small Businesses to Create 358K Jobs Over 3 Years, Report Says One of the biggest challenges small business owners face is finding capital. For many of these owners, online "FinTech" lending platforms have come to the rescue. And according to a new report by NDP Analytics, the platforms have funded close to $10 billion from 2015 to 2017. Small Business Owners Remain Very Optimistic But a Little Sleep Deprived Small business optimism among small business owners is at a record high. But this optimism is the result of hard work and dedication which comes with less sleep. The\u00a0MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index\u00a0survey revealed respondents slept 6.7 hours a night on average, less than the eight recommended hours. Small Business Operations Amazon Adds New Essentials Tier to Business Prime Shipping Service When Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced its Prime Business shipping service in October of 2017, it gave businesses the same convenience it did consumer with unlimited shipping. But the lowest tier of the service started with up to 10 users, pricing out many smaller businesses. What is Slack Actions and How Can It Help Your Business? The integration of apps within Slack are becoming more intuitive thanks to the new tool it just launched called Actions. Any Slack message can now be turned into a follow-up or next step using Jira, Bitbucket, Asana, Zendesk, HubSpot, and more without leaving Slack. Social Media Worried About the Gen Z Social Media Exodus? 3 Creative Ways Your Business Can Respond A growing number of Gen Z consumers are leaving social media (or at least taking breaks), according to a new study conducted by Hill Holliday. Twitter Word Cloud Gives Businesses Insight Into How to Market Effectively Twitter is on the upswing. After reporting its first profit in the last quarter of 2017, the first quarter of 2018 has made it two in a row. With that in mind, GoCompare's Word Cloud of the most tweeted phrases is a timely piece of information on how to better use this social media channel. Taxes Here's How to Write Off Equipment and Capital Improvements Like a Pro The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes it easier than ever to write-off the cost of buying equipment or making certain improvements rather than depreciating the cost over a number of years. And small businesses are taking advantage of these new rules.