Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

January 2, 2013

Helium shortage deflates income for some

Local businesses plan for future

 

Helium is in short supply and businesses are feeling the crunch. 

“We’re losing $500 to $600 a week from balloon sales,” said Card & Party Factory Manager Trish Basham. 

Balloons are big business at Basham’s store, where sales of helium bring the most profit. But with suppliers doubling or tripling the usual cost of helium, shoppers are buying fewer balloons or opting out altogether. The price of a solid color balloon at Basham’s store has jumped from 79 cents to $1.29 in a matter of months, she said.

“The biggest complaint is that we no longer blow up balloons that people don’t buy here,” Basham said. “You can find patterns online that we don’t sell in the store, but we don’t blow them up.” 

A sign on the store’s front door and near the helium tanks reminds customers of the scarcity, and has, for several months. Basham isn’t sure the signs will ever come down. 

Helium, a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas is used to inflate balloons for birthday parties and weddings, but also in the medical field to cool MRI machines, as well as in many electronics.

About a dozen miles outside of Amarillo lies the nation’s only Federal Helium Reserve, where about a third of the world’s helium is found. Through the Helium Privatization Act of 1996, the federal government began trying to sell that supply and privatize all helium sales by 2015. 

While florists and party stores can come up with new ways to make balloon art, those in the medical field may not be so lucky. 

The Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance recently addressed the depleting supply of helium by addressing a letter to Congress, urging them to act on the Helium Stewardship Act of 1912, which would keep the reserve from closing its facility. 

Text Only
Local News
  • heath.jpg Kyle Heath named CISD superintendent

    Cleburne ISD officially has a new superintendent. The CISD board of trustees issued a contract agreement to Kyle Heath at Friday’s board meeting. 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 65.jpg Gearing up for giving

    Last year’s local response to the thousands affected and displaced by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines was tremendous, said Deeper Life Christian Fellowship Pastor Zane Mitchell and his wife, Thess Mitchell.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Joshua woman killed in traffic accident

    A pregnant woman, 19, died Friday morning at a Fort Worth hospital following a Thursday traffic accident.

    July 25, 2014

  • IMG_6911.JPG Construction delayed at Keene Elementary School

    Construction of Wanda R. Smith High School in Keene is almost finished, but the job at Keene Elementary School might not complete until late November.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_4353.JPG Immigration hot topic at Cleburne Lions Club

    Illegal immigration was the topic of Wednesday’s weekly luncheon of the Cleburne Lions Club. DeWayne Burns, Republican candidate for the state representative District 58 seat, spoke at the meeting. 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jimmy Neal.jpg Burleson Centennial hires new principal

    Mansfield ISD has lost two of its top officials to Johnson County. Mansfield’s Summit High School Principal Jimmy Neal has been named the Burleson Centennial High School principal.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_4299.JPG Police chief all wet

    Cleburne Police Chief Robert Severance thought Wednesday morning’s festivities in front of Cleburne City Hall would be restricted to ice cubes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amanda__Goshey_DSC_1461.jpg Library earns employee of the quarter honors

    Amanda Goshey’s customer service made her a shoo-in for the Burleson’s second Employee of the Quarter award. The award encompassed nominations from parks, recreation, golf, and the library. Goshey is a reference public services librarian at the Burleson Public Library.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chesapeake royalty owners lawyer up

    An estimated 180 people turned out on Tuesday evening to hear a Fort Worth attorney tell them how to win back royalties he said Chesapeake Energy Corp. has improperly withheld. 

    July 24, 2014

  • IMG_4279.JPG Cleburne City Council videos to begin soon

    Residents will soon be able to watch video of Cleburne City Council meetings. 

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

Front page
Latest CTR Videos
Facebook
Front page
Front page
Front page
Front page
Front page
Front page
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
House Ads
Featured Ads
CTR Sports
Follow us on twitter