With all the talk (and legislative initiatives) to increase minimum wages, expand paid leave, create new employee benefits and the like, we’re told that more small businesses may begin using robots where possible to cut down on labor costs. According to the Robotics Industries Association, almost 36,000 robots were shipped to the US, Canada and Mexico in 2018! That number shows a 7% increase over 2017, but US robotic shipments actually increased by more than 15% (a new US record) over the same time period! And lastly, we’ll want to keep a close watch on the price of arabica coffee beans at year-end, as a Reuters poll released last month indicated that commodity analysts and traders project the year-end price of Arabica beans could rise by as much as 25% over current levels!