Business Buzz for the week of May 12

Uponor expands in Apple Valley
Uponor North America is expanding its manufacturing facility in Apple Valley beginning late spring 2017, with completion expected by January 2018. The $17.4 million investment will be used toward the expansion of an additional 58,000 square feet to increase manufacturing capacity.

This is the 10th expansion since Uponor began operations in Apple Valley in 1990. The most recent expansion took place in 2016 when the company invested $18 million and added 88,000 square feet to its manufacturing facility.

The building expansion is required to meet forecast growth for its crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing in plumbing, fire sprinkler, radiant heating and cooling and hydronic piping systems used in residential and commercial buildings.

Uponor has also leased an 8,500-square-foot office and lab space in a building next to its manufacturing annex, which the company’s technology group will occupy beginning mid-May.

Oil Change for Hope campaign
During May, Apple Autos is donating $1 to Hope Chest for Breast Cancer for each of the estimated 5,000 oil changes it provides at its five dealerships during the four annual Oil Change for Hope campaign.

Staff and customers are also invited to contribute to the cause at checkout.

Apple Autos will contribute an additional dollar per person when guests take a selfie at the dealership and post it on Facebook or Instagram with hashtags: #appleautos and #oilchangeforhope.

With the oil changes, social media efforts, and out-of-pocket donations, an estimated $10,000 will go directly to Hope Chest for Breast Cancer to help continue its work supporting urgent needs of local, financially challenged breast cancer patients.

Apple Autos operates Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley, Apple Ford and Apple Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Shakopee, Apple Chevrolet Buick in Northfield and Apple Used Autos in Shakopee.

Hair District art show
The Hair District-Burnsville will host an inaugural client appreciation/art show 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 19, featuring works by memory care patients at the Ebenezer Campus in Burnsville.

The event features a reception where clients, memory care patients and the public can view the works of art and receive 30 percent off retail purchases. The Hair District will donate 10 percent of all sales that evening back to the Art with Heart program. Live music and refreshments will be served.

The Hair District-Burnsville, located at 12700 Nicollet Ave., has been open for just over 3 years and is located in the Heart of the City. For more information, visit www.thehairdistrict.com or call 952-808-8115.

Salon partners with school for charity
Students and families from Harriet Bishop Elementary in Savage will gather 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, at The Hair District in Burnsville for the fourth annual “Hair”riet Bishop Project – the “mane” event of the year.

Over 30 participants pledged to grow their hair throughout the school year and will donate their hair to charities to make wigs for kids and adults with illnesses.

Harriet Bishop previously partnered for the event with Regency Beauty School, which closed in 2016.

Stepping Outlet for Mom
Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan is hosting a special day for moms on May 13. The day will kick off with Stepping Outlet for Mom (9-11 a.m.), a one-mile walk honoring mothers battling cancer, and will continue into the afternoon with Celebrating Moms (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), a day of fashion, fun and indulgence. Then, on May 14, Twin Cities Premium Outlets is taking part in a national day of public yoga classes called project:OM, with proceeds going to Susan G. Komen.

More information is at premiumoutlets.com/twincities.

Credit union website honored
Burnsville-based Firefly Credit Union won the Kentico Site of the Year Award for Best Financial Services Site in 2016.

In addition to an easily navigable structure, Firefly’s website embraces many financial resources including interactive calculators and a free financial education tool where members and nonmembers can dive deeper into a variety of financial topics. It can be found online at www.fireflycu.org.

Kentico is a web content management and digital experience platform provider. Its annual Site of the Year contest seeks out the best use of the organization’s tools and implementations and chooses the top three from each category to be put to the public vote.

BV Chamber hosts Golf Classic
The Burnsville Chamber of Commerce hosts its 38th annual Golf Classic 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, June 5, at The Wilds Golf Club, 3151 Wilds Ridge Court, Prior Lake.

Registration opens at 10:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at noon. Dinner and awards banquet follow golfing at 5:30 p.m.

Cost is $175 per golfer. Event details are at burnsvillechamber.com.

Seaver promoted at Lakeville bank
Ashley Seaver has been promoted to mortgage lender at Merchants Bank in Lakeville. She previously served as mortgage loan coordinator at the Lakeville office.

Seaver said she is looking forward to working with individuals and families and helping them secure the homes of their dreams, or help them start the process of building a home.

In addition to Lakeville, Merchants Bank has local offices in Apple Valley and Rosemount.

BBB: Don’t get stuck in an asphalt scheme
Spring is here, and it’s that time of year when you might get an unexpected knock on your door – especially if you have an older or unpaved parking lot or driveway. Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) warns consumers and business owners that suspect asphalt firms will be here soon, trying to rustle up jobs. These operators often go door-to-door claiming they have extra asphalt from a nearby project and they’ll work at a discounted rate. However, the quality of the work is often sub-par and the final bill can sometimes be double – or even many times – the original quoted price.

“This is a seasonal scheme, and it’s one that victimizes many people in our area every year,” said Susan Adams Loyd, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “It’s often perpetrated door-to-door, so people really need to be prepared as to how they will approach the issue.”

To avoid asphalt schemes, always be sure you know who you’re dealing with. Research the company at bbb.org and check other online resources. Also, be sure to ask the salesperson if they have or need to have a solicitor’s license from the city they’re doing business in – and then verify that by contacting your city officials directly.

Be on the lookout for these common signs of a suspect asphalt firm:

• The claim the company has leftover asphalt from another job. Be wary of paving companies stating they are “in the neighborhood” and have extra asphalt at the ready to repair your driveway for a minimal cost. Professional asphalt contractors know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. They will rarely have leftover materials.

• High pressure sales. Never hire someone on the spot. Trustworthy contractors provide a written estimate that will be valid for many days afterwards, or much longer. If you feel that you are being subjected to high-pressure sales tactics, BBB advises you to end the conversation and tell the company you’re not interested.

• Deals that seem too good to be true. If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of work will also be quite low.

• No contract is offered. Insist on a written contract specifying in detail the work to be performed and the agreed total price, not just price per square foot. Then get at least two more estimates before hiring a contractor.

• Cash-only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don’t require cash-only terms. You also want to be sure to write checks out to the company and not individual employees.

• Unmarked trucks. Less than reputable firms often travel in unmarked trucks or ones that have out-of-state license plates. Some research usually reveals that they have no permanent address and phone numbers they give out are not answered.

If asphalt contractors are on your property and you feel work that’s being performed is beyond the scope of what was originally agreed upon, contact the police immediately. Or if you’re suddenly presented with a bill much higher than what was originally discussed, don’t be pressured into making a payment on the spot. Remember, you have rights. Always make sure you have full and accurate contact information for any company you work with – not just a phone number.

Consumers are often safer dealing with a contractor who has local roots. Contact BBB for free Business Profiles on any company you are considering doing business with by visiting bbb.org, or by calling – toll-free in Minnesota and North Dakota – 1-800-646-6222.