This week in Homebase news, a study reveals how business owners are feeling about AI and automation, Yelp offers a deal for businesses to increase their engagement with customers, a senator’s roofing company faces another wage theft lawsuit, and ADP reports more hiring among small businesses. 

Read below to find out more on these stories and other happenings involving local businesses and hourly workers.

Study: Business Owners Don’t Fear Impact of Automation, AI

Web hosting site GoDaddy recently conducted a study and found that most small businesses aren’t feeling nervous about the impact of artificial intelligence and automation and are instead “optimistic about business growth, the power of technology, and their contributions to local communities.”

According to GoDaddy, the study found that “70% of small businesses globally felt that these external factors were not going to have an impact on their business, that they were confident in their ability to grow over the course of the next three to five years.”

Yelp’s New Ad Products Can Increase Engagement by 38% 

Yelp’s newly-debuted ad products gives small business owners a better way to manage and control their business image on the most popular review site in the world. 

The features are designed to help you reach customers who are ready to make a purchase, stand out from the competition, and even set your own daily budget. 

To develop these tools, Yelp analyzed thousands of listings around the U.S. and determined the best practices that every business needs to grow. Currently, they’re extending an offer to business owners that want to explore these features $300 in Yelp Ads. 

Fla. Senator’s Roofing Company Sued for Wage Theft

Florida Sen. Keith Perry is facing his sixth wage-theft lawsuit against Perry Roofing, brought forward by an employee who says the company owes him overtime wages. 

Perry Roofing employee Dearmus Lovett’s lawyer, John Davis, said he’s not sure exactly how many hours Lovett is owed because the company doesn’t log hours and charges a fluctuating “piece rate,” which means workers are paid for each piece of square or shingle they lay. 

“Under the current law, everyone has the right to overtime unless they are exempt,” Davis said. “The employer has the burden of keeping records of how many hours each person works. I don’t believe they do that.”

The class action lawsuit is asking for a jury trial and could potentially bring forward past and current employees of Perry Roofing. 

ADP: Small Business Employment Edges Higher in July

A report from payroll provider ADP stated that small business employment rose higher in July as businesses hired more employees. 

ADP counted 11,000 new jobs among its small business customers (meaning businesses with an employee count of up to 49). However, the company saw 18,000 jobs cut among its customers with up to 19 employees. 

The uptick in hiring comes after the last two hiring reports showed job cuts in June and May, with 13,000 jobs and 34,000 cut respectively.