Party foul: Businesses say helium supply is running low

ATLANTA — The next time you buy some birthday balloons, they might need some help staying in the air.

There is a helium shortage in Georgia.

Channel 2's Berndt Petersen spoke to local businesses about the tightening supply. They said it's been happening for months.

Petersen visited local party-themed stores, who said they don't have any helium to fill balloons.


We first learned of the shortage after a Channel 2 employee tried to get some helium-filled balloons for a birthday party and called store after store that had no helium.

Suppliers can trace the shortage all the way to the Middle East.

"A lot of our helium is sourced out of Qatar," store owner Michelle Chambers says. "I understand they've had issues getting it out of the country. So, this summer has been the worst for us in several years."

Chambers says another issue here in the United States is that helium plants in Texas have been off-line this summer. The amount Chambers was able to buy was cut in half.

Some of the largest party-theme business in the metro Atlanta area have none.

"They're getting 50-percent of their allocation of what they had last year," Chambers said. "So, if their balloon business has increased this year, they could run out and wait until next month to get more in."