COVID-19 impacts supply of annual 4th of July tradition

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) –COVID-19 related shortages are now impacting a 4th of July tradition: fireworks.

James Slater, a co-owner of CNC Fireworks in Mapleton said he has faced many delays and back-ups from suppliers, which he feels is due to companies having less employees.

“We had a container we were supposed to get in February [but] didn’t make it here until June,” he said. “It just sat there that whole time.”

Slater said generally speaking, shipping containers have a charge of about $8,000. Due to the pandemic, they have risen to as much as $21,000 per container.

Because suppliers have increased costs to vendors, customers should expect to pay slightly more for the fireworks, Slater said. This issue is expected to continue throughout the year.

“My suppliers from China, they’re telling us they need our order already- by July 30 of this year, in order to even start getting ourselves ready for next year because they’re going to be behind. It’s going to take a year or two to get caught up,” he said.

On Peoria’s riverfront, owner of Kelleher’s Irish Pub & Eatery Pat Sullivan plans to finish the annual Boys and Girls fundraiser with a fireworks display.

“[Just] like the Chiefs do up the street,” he said. “In fact, we’re going to try to coordinate those together.”

Through talks with his own vendor, Sullivan said the show will not be impacted by shortages.

“He’s told me he’s got no problem. We’re going to have plenty of fireworks and more, so I think they’re talking more of the retail types,” he said of the shortage.

With the help of other vendors, Slater said his store has managed to remain stocked, and he does not expect to run out of fireworks.

Despite the challenges, Slater said business at his shop has doubled compared to last year.

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