Valentine's Day is Thursday and consumers are expected to spend close to $19 billion on gifts, jewelry, candy and balloons.
The National Retail Federation reports the average person will spend $130.97 on gifts, up from $126.03 in 2012.
But there is a national helium shortage, and many businesses who sell balloons are feeling the effects. Business owners are saying a helium tank that used to cost $85 is now costing in upwards of $175. And the cost is being passed on to consumers.
Sandy Royal, owner of Party Pals Balloonery in Bay City, says she has never seen a shortage like this in 29 years of business.
Kim Sinicki, owner of Katy's Kards in Saginaw, says it's not just Valentine's Day consumers that are feeling the pinch of the helium shortage.
"I've read about the shortage in trade magazines and some of the states that are really out," she said. "It's affecting hospitals and medical machines as well."
The helium shortage is being blamed on maintenance problems at plants in Wyoming, Australia and Qatar, causing prices to increase.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:31 PM EDT2013-05-24 02:31:21 GMT
Breaking News: Saginaw and Michigan State Police on are the scene of a quadruple shooting in Saginaw. Investigators confirm four people were shot at a pre-prom gathering in the parking lot of the FlorenceMore >
Breaking News:A 17 year old girl was shot and killed and three others wounded at a pre-prom gathering in Saginaw. More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:04 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:04:40 GMT
MISSOURI CITY, TX (KPRC/CNN) - When a pregnant teacher in Texas collapsed, her coworkers rushed to help. The woman technically died, gave birth, and then was brought back to life. Erica Nigrelli, an EnglishMore >
A pregnant woman's heart stopped, and doctors performed an emergency c-section to rescue the baby and save the woman.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 4:38 AM EDT2013-05-24 08:38:10 GMT
(RNN) - A bridge in Washington has collapsed and at least two cars are in the water, according to KING 5 TV out of Seattle. The bridge is part of Interstate 5. There is no word on injuries. Copyright 2013More >
A photo from the scene showed a man sitting on top of his car, which was partially submerged.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:39 AM EDT2013-05-23 14:39:51 GMT
A two-car crash between Bridgeport and Frankenmuth has resulted in the closure of Junction Road. The crash happened around 1 p.m. on Wednesday on Junction, between Reimer and Dixie Highway. BridgeportMore >
A two-car crash between Bridgeport and Frankenmuth resulted in the deaths of two people on Junction Road Wednesday afternoon.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 2:04 PM EDT2013-05-23 18:04:41 GMT
19 Action News Reporter Ed Gallek is reviewing the latest log kept by jail guards watching over Ariel Castro, and they include a couple of eye opening incidents. At one point, notes say that jailers hadMore >
19 Action News Reporter Ed Gallek is reviewing the latest log kept by jail guards watching over Ariel Castro, and they include a couple of eye opening incidents.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-23 13:51:45 GMT
An update now to a story TV5 first broke last week. State police have identified a second person who died in a Friday crash. 16-year old Brandon Anderson of Byron died this afternoon. A 16-year oldMore >
State police have identified a second person who died in a Friday crash.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:23 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:23:26 GMT
The parents of a one-year-old boy who drowned in a bathtub have been charged and arraigned in connection to his death. Callie Csercsa, 19, and her 29-year-old boyfriend Jeremy Wise, were both chargedMore >
The parents of a one-year-old boy who drowned in a bathtub have been charged and arraigned in connection to his death.More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:33 PM EDT2013-05-23 17:33:26 GMT
Remember the Kmart's "Ship My Pants" ad? Well Kmart isn't finished with their controversial ads. The company launched their latest video about Big Gas Savings on Thursday. It even features the sameMore >
The company launched their latest video about "big gas savings" on Thursday.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:37 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:37:47 GMT
The Clare County Sheriff's department said they've arrested a man on a warrant for possession of child sexually abusive material and a Transient Merchant Act violation. Sheriff John Wilson said in a releaseMore >
The Clare County Sheriff's department said they've arrested a man on a warrant for possession of child sexually abusive material and a Transient Merchant Act violation.More >