GREAT FALLS — While many businesses felt the negative aftershocks of Coronavirus, the fireworks business in Great Falls boomed on account of the pandemic.
Jeff Meier has been selling fireworks for 17 years, and said this was one of the best years for business in over a decade.
“This year was probably one of our better years, in the last 16 to 17 years we’ve been doing it,” Meier said.
Meier said he and his fellow salesman started preparing for firework sales before the pandemic broke out in full force.
“We started ordering in February. That’s just kinda when it barely started and we had just started doing orders,” Meier said.
He didn’t let coronavirus get in the way of their sales plans, since weekend holidays typically make for better sales.
“Usually when it falls on a weekend, your sales dramatically increase,” Meier said, “The Fourth was on a Saturday. That, and people were off Friday and Saturday both, so I think a lot more people were blowing stuff up earlier than normal.”
Meier believes that coronavirus boredom combined with extra money from federal stimulus checks motivated people to invest more in this year's fourth of July festivities.
“I think a lot of it had to do with the Covid. People were just tired of being cooped up, and I think people had a little extra money from the stimulus package to spend. I think a lot more people spent more than they would normally spend just because of the extra money they had in their pockets this year,” Meier said.
Not only did the additional firework purchases boost business, but the customers’ spirits as well.
"I think it cheered people up. We have a lot of people that look forward to the 4th. They get to come out and pick what they want you know, and they’re excited. A lot of them are really excited,” Meier said.
While fireworks can no longer be set off within city limits, firework sales outside the city will continue through July 5th.