Coronavirus sparks major losses for fireworks industry

Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 2:54 PM EDT
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The night sky won't sound or look the same this summer with fireworks shows canceling across the country.

Atlas Pyrovision estimates the industry will experience a 75% decrease this year.

"The entertainment business, which is what we're in, has been decimated," said Matt Shea, the vice president of Atlas.

Atlas is losing about 90% of its displays, including the larger shows over the crucial Fourth of July holiday.

"Typically, we produce 225 displays over that Fourth of July period. And right now, we're looking at about producing 20 throughout New England," Shea said.

Shea says it's hard to plan amid so much uncertainty in the pandemic. Most of their business revolves around large groups.

"We're still working with the, like the New England Patriots to come up with something that is different than their normal game presentations pyrotechnics displays. Maybe stuff that is something more seen on TV," Shea said.

He says Atlas is surviving, though, thanks to stimulus money and its four New Hampshire retail locations.

"The stores, currently, are doing well," he said. "They're a little above last year; however, we've only been open for four weeks."

Independence Day shows have been rescheduled for Labor Day weekend. Shea hopes that can still happen.

"It's a gamble because all we're doing is sort of kicking the proverbial can down the road and hopefully it's going to still be there when we get back," She said.

Shea says he's working to create socially distanced fireworks shows. That way, some communities can still hold displays next month.

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