Business booming for local firework stands, retailers
The Fourth of July is less than one week away, and business is booming at local firework stands, who are encouraging people to buy now, don't wait until the big day.
The Hale's Fireworks stand off S. Campbell in Springfield sold more fireworks than ever last year, but this season is on pace to at least match that.
"I think that people are ready to do something. They've been cooped up at home and now this is a good opportunity for people to come together and enjoy something," said Sam Cybulski.
Sam Cybulski's family has run the Hale's Fireworks stand for years. This season has kept them busy.
"Sales have been pretty solid, they've been consistent throughout," Cybulski said.
Same goes for Fireworks over America on I-44. President Mark Ingram says the Fireworks Supermarkets have seen about a 50% jump in sales.
"It's going to be one of our best years, if not our best year ever," he said.
He said there are several reasons for the spike in sales. First, the holiday falls on a Saturday.
Ingram said the coronavirus is one reason for an uptick in business, as people are ready to get out of the house. More than that, he says, most public firework shows have been cancelled or postponed because of gathering limits.
"People are choosing, that went to the displays and still love fireworks, to celebrate with their families and friends," he said.
Ingram said the firework industry feared a product shortage when manufacturers in China had to shut down, and shipping possibilities were in question.
He said he encouraged tents and stands like the Hale's to buy early due to potentially overwhelming demand. He said most of those in the Springfield area should now be well stocked to finish out the season.
"At the wholesale level, we're selling to the floor. We wish we had a lot more product but we don't," Ingram said.
Cybulski said his stand is getting trucks full of new products every day. Even so, he's giving the same advice to families, as the days leading up to the Fourth of July will be the busiest.
"Whenever you come early, there's a wider selection of stuff to pick from. That goes for every year," he said.
With potentially even more people shooting off fireworks at home, there is risk for injury, but Cybulski said you can stay safe if you're handling them properly.
If firework says it should be shot off from the ground or a tube, do that. Don't hold it in your hand. That goes for Roman candles, too. Don't ever look over a firework while lighting it. Have a bucket of water nearby.
for more firework safety advice.