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February 13, 2012 04:52 PM

Helium Shortage Won’t Sink Businesses

Sioux Falls, SD


This is the most important part of the year for businesses like Floral Two in Sioux Falls. With orders peaking for Valentine's Day, turning a profit now can keep the business going all year.

"The only comparison would be Mother's Day and that's all week because people will send all week to their mom. But Valentine's Day, it's got to be on the day," Floral Two owner Lori Marsh said.

With that much riding on the one day, Marsh plans to put in 20 hours Monday to make sure she's prepared for Tuesday’s big rush. Phone orders have been coming in, and she says the number of orders is right in line with recent years. Snipping the arrangements is just part of the job. Valentine's customers want something to top it all off.

"They always want to add a balloon that says 'Happy Valentine's Day' or 'I love you' or I have some that say 'Hugs and Kisses,'" Marsh said.

But because of expenses with the extraction process, there's a shortage of helium across the nation. Some parts of the country are out; others have raised their prices significantly.

Marsh says she just had her helium tank filled last week. She's yet to see a bill on that so she says no matter what, there is no passing an increase along to her customers.

"No problems, I just called them up and they brought it out the same day I called for it. They didn't mention a shortage," Marsh said.

This means for this Valentine’s Day, a shortage of helium in other parts of the country won’t pop holiday sales around here.

Helium is also an important part of some medical procedures, which means whenever there is a shortage, it impacts balloon sales first because distributors will make sure there is enough for the medical industry.
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