NORTH SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In one of Your Stories, some NewsChannel 9 viewers said they’re being turned away when looking for balloons at party stores in our area because of a global helium shortage. However, Mickey’s Balloons in North Syracuse is doing what they can to get around the issue.
Luanne Richards owns the family business of 38 years. Richards said the price of helium has blown up since February.
“I saw my bill skyrocket and knew that we were in for something,” Richards said.
Richards has no choice but to raise her prices on helium balloons, which she hasn’t done in seven years. They use nitrogen, helium, and an air compressor to fill up their balloons. But because of the shortage, she’s been working more with air alone.
The only problem with that is, is our manpower goes up because we have to go back and pick all of this equipment back up after,” Richards said.
They have to charge more for that, too. And while they’re managing it right now, everyone at Mickey’s is still concerned about what could happen if helium runs out.
“I’m very worried. this is my livelihood. This is what I do for a living, this is what my employees do,” Richards said.
NewsChannel 9 has heard from viewers about a few local Dollar Tree and Dollar General stores being out of helium. The stores we checked with Friday are in good standing. However, since it’s graduation season, it’s best to call first and plan ahead.
As for what’s causing the shortage? A recent ABC News article said the shortage is due to a lack of supply.
For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JuliaLeBlancNC9