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Helium Shortage Deflating Party Balloon Sales

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The supplies are running out, and now a fun party favor is in danger of becoming extinct.

For the past year, a helium shortage has made it difficult for people to buy balloons. CBS13 takes a look at how the shortage is now impacting local businesses.

Balloons that ordinarily would be filled up with helium are being filled with nitrogen due to the shortage.

“There’s hardly any helium. It’s really hard to get,” said Carolyn Hadin, owner of Balloon Creations by Carolyn.

Helium has been in short supply for about a year, and nobody knows this better than Hadin. For the past 23 years helium has been her business.

“We have five kids. This is how we’ve supported them. This is all my husband and I do,” said Hadin.

She says the change in supply of helium happened drastically.

“We could get eight, nine, 10 tanks a week. Now we can get two,” she said..

Without helium to make her balloon art, her world was flipped upside down.

“We ended up losing our home, you know — lots of problems,” she said.

Forced to change her business model, she started teaching face paint and balloon tying classes. She says she’s also had to adapt.

“We started to learn how to do a lot of balloons air-filled with framing,” she said.

Framing costs more though, and most times, Hadin has to eat the cost, cutting into her profit.

Hadin says she’s experimenting with a new formula that’s 20 percent helium and 80 percent nitrogen, that way she can continue doing balloon art.

According to recent reports, the world is not running out of helium. It’s estimated worldwide helium reserves are projected to last for the next 300 years. But producers of the gas just haven’t been making as much.

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