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Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:11 AM

The Helium Cliff [View all]

from the Chicago Sun-Times:

If inhaling helium from balloons to talk like “Alvin the Chipmunk” is your thing on New Year’s Eve, be sure to thank your host, who probably paid double this year for the light-weight gas because of a global shortage.

Chris Doolin, who runs Doolin’s Party Supplies at Grand and Halsted, pays double for her helium, so her customers now pay double, too.

“People are willing to pay the extra price, and they’re glad to have it,” Doolin said.

A helium tank that fills about 500 balloons used to rent for $95 but now goes for $200, Doolin said. Because of the shortage, she has turned away lots of business, including graduation parties and corporate events. She usually gets 30 tanks a month from her supplier, but now she’s able to wrangle only five. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.suntimes.com/news/17254044-418/helium-shortage-means-price-of-balloons-is-rising.html

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