CONYERS, Ga. - Cities nationwide are canceling big Fourth of July gatherings and events due to the coronavirus outbreak, but fireworks retailers say that's sparked a big increase in sales.
Loren Merritt says fireworks are part of the annual Fourth of July celebration for his family. " Normally we would be around family and have a big fireworks display."
This year with the coronavirus pandemic going on Merritt's planning for a much smaller gathering. "Just celebration time with my mom and grandma sitting at home enjoying the company of family."
He's not alone, and social distancing has sparked a spike in fireworks sales this year.
The days leading up to the Fourth of July holiday are the busiest for fireworks retailers. "Business has been brisk, definitely increased over last year," Pyro City Fireworks General Manager Steve Putthoff told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on sales.
"It's been crazy. We didn't know in April what was going to happen in July. We anticipated an increase but we didn't know if we were going to be shut down or open or what was going to happen."
The Conyers store is open and business is booming in-store and online.
Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John King reminds Georgia residents, “With the Fourth of July holiday approaching this week, it is extremely important for any Georgian who wishes to host a public fireworks exhibition to receive approval from the proper authorities. This is for both the health and safety of those hosting the display as well as those in attendance.”