The pandemic has fizzled out public fireworks shows across the country, but the owner of American Fireworks Company says retail sales are booming.
ROBERTO SORGI: This is crazy right now.
ALEX STOKES: The pandemic has fizzled out public firework shows across the country, but Roberto Sorgi owner of American Fireworks in Hudson, says retail sales are booming.
ROBERTO SORGI: A lot of people have been stuck at home with nothing to do, so they're bringing the firework show home with them.
ALEX STOKES: And it's not just for the holidays, Sorgi says, as people look for something to do. They've seen steady business every day since memorial day weekend.
ROBERTO SORGI: Since two days ago, there's a line starting at 1, 2, 3 o'clock. Retail sales might be up as much as 80%.
ALEX STOKES: At the same time, they're seeing a decline in public displays.
ROBERTO SORGI: That could be off by 50%, if not a little bit more, just depending on what comes.
ALEX STOKES: Inventory was impacted, Sorgi says, when Chinese factories closed earlier this year.
ROBERTO SORGI: Our supply chain was off four to five months, leading into, obviously, the American's busiest time for fireworks.
ALEX STOKES: Sorgi's company usually sits on a two-year supply, but he knows retailers with smaller inventories are struggling. The retail rise comes as Ohio senate prepares for hearings on a bill that passed overwhelmingly in the house last month and would allow the discharge of consumer fireworks, instead of having to transport them out of state within 48 hours.
MICHAEL O'BRIEN: It ensures that Ohioans, number one, do not have to be dishonest when they purchase fireworks.
ALEX STOKES: If passed, Ohio would join the majority of states and DC.
MICHAEL O'BRIEN: Local governments can restrict the date and the time over the use of fireworks.
ALEX STOKES: State representative Michael O'Brien from Warren, who introduced the bill, says a fire code [INAUDIBLE] recommendation committee would be formed with fire safety professionals and--
MICHAEL O'BRIEN: One member of the prevention of [INAUDIBLE] chapter in Ohio and also a member of the Ohio chapter of pediatrics.
ALEX STOKES: Sorgi says if passed, that would lead to an immediate uptick in sales too. But what they're seeing now is unprecedented.
ROBERTO SORGI: This is something our industry on the retail level will never see again.
ALEX STOKES: In Hudson, Alex Stokes, Fox 8 News.