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Popcorn, pilot and lifeguard shortages weigh on summer fun

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It’s summertime, which means it’s time to put on those shades, get outside and crank up the boombox (that’s an old-school device for playing music) for fun in the sun. But beware, supply chain issues and a lack of workers could rain on that parade. Here are some of the biggest shortages this summer in this week’s Five For Friday.

#5: Helium

Balloons are a summertime staple. Try imaging a graduation party, birthday bash or even a family reunion without floating balloons. It just doesn’t seem right, does it? But that may be the reality for summer 2022. Part of the reason for the shortage of helium is sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Russia is a major producer of the gas and is making efforts to become an even bigger player. The shortage is so bad, Nebraska even preemptively suspended its decades-long tradition of releasing balloons after the first touchdown at home games. That may seem like a bad thing for all those Cornhusker fans out there, but know the university made the decision to save the helium they have for medical purposes. Helium is actually used to cool magnets used in MRI machines. If you are still trying to have a balloon-filled party, get creative. Make a balloon arch or even a balloon mosaic.

#4: Popcorn

It gets hot out there in the summer, and whether you are trying to avoid sunburn or that sticky humidity, the movie theater is always a great place to get out of the heat. But just like peanut butter with jelly, what would a movie be without popcorn drenched in artificial butter flavoring? With fertilizer prices going way up, farmers are opting to grow soybeans instead of fertilizer-intensive corn, meaning popcorn is harder to come by. Theaters are also having trouble sourcing containers for the good stuff. And all of this is weighing on theater owners who make a majority of their profits from concessions.

#3: Pilots

What is summer without a summer getaway? Fuel costs are rising, making a family roadtrip in the old station wagon extra pricey. So, you make the move to travel somewhere more exotic by airplane. On top of those same fuel prices inflating airfare, there is a shortage of pilots. Fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is at play, as many airlines offered early retirement to their most senior pilots and didn’t think demand would come back so quickly. This has already caused a ton of flight cancellations. Some carriers have proposed relaxing training requirements to get new pilots in the air quicker, but pilots are fighting back.

#2: Chlorine

All of this is very stressful. Maybe you should just relax by the family pool. That is, if you can find the chlorine needed to keep it sanitary. A pool boom since the pandemic is leading to the shortage, with pool supply companies struggling to keep them on hand. Plus, a fire at a major chlorine factory in Louisiana cut down on production of the chemical. They hope to be up and running near the latter part of the year. If you are thinking of hopping in without the germ-killing additive, think again if you want a sanitary summer.

#1: Lifeguards

So you couldn’t open your own pool this summer because it is stinky and green. Why not take the tots to the public pool? Well, a lack of training and recertification during the pandemic has seriously limited the number of available lifeguards. The problem is so bad it is affecting up to a third of the nation’s public pools. Some experts even say young people don’t want the job anymore. What could be better than sitting poolside and raking in the cash?

It’s time to put on those shades, get outside and crank up the tunes. That’s right it’s “summa summa summa time” but wait – there are some serious shortages that could rain on your summer fun. We’ve got ‘em in this week’s five for friday:

Coming in at number 5: helium. C’mon, balloons are a summertime staple. We’ve got grad parties, family reunions, birthday bashes. Now part of the reason for the shortage is sanctions against Russia – they’re a major producer. It’s so bad Nebraska even preemptively canceled its decades-long tradition of releasing balloons after the first touchdown at home games. Before you boo – know it’s because they’re saving what helium they have for medical purposes.

All the Mike and Ikes in the world won’t make up for a shortage of popcorn, which is number 4 on the list. A summer blockbuster is one of the best ways to beat that heat – and what’s a movie without it? But with fertilizer prices way up – farmers are growing soybeans over more fertilizer-intensive corn. and theaters aren’t psyched about it eating into their profits.

Move over high fuel costs. at number three. A pilot shortage will make getting away for the summer even more difficult. Almost all airlines are dealing with this issue, forcing them to keep wheels on the ground. To offer relief, some carriers have proposed relaxing training requirements to get pilots in the air quicker. Yikes!

Number two is gonna be a real bummer when it comes to much needed pooltime. A pool boom since the pandemic is now leading to a chlorine shortage. And this chlorine factory fire made it even worse. If you’re thinking of diving in without the germ-killing additive, think again if you want a sanitary summer.

So you can’t get chlorine for your oasis and you think, “I’ll take the tots to the public pool.” Well, that’s where number one comes in. A lack of training and recertification over the pandemic has seriously strained the number of available lifeguards, affecting up to a third of the country’s public pools. But seriously. What could be better than sitting poolside and making a little dough?

Swimming pools are already too hard to come by here in the city. At least sitting in a/c isn’t on this list – that’s where I’ll be. That’s your five for friday. I’m Simone del Rosario for Just Business. See you monday!

It’s summertime, which means it’s time to put on those shades, get outside and crank up the boombox (that’s an old-school device for playing music) for fun in the sun. But beware, supply chain issues and a lack of workers could rain on that parade. Here are some of the biggest shortages this summer in this week’s Five For Friday.

#5: Helium

Balloons are a summertime staple. Try imaging a graduation party, birthday bash or even a family reunion without floating balloons. It just doesn’t seem right, does it? But that may be the reality for summer 2022. Part of the reason for the shortage of helium is sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Russia is a major producer of the gas and is making efforts to become an even bigger player. The shortage is so bad, Nebraska even preemptively suspended its decades-long tradition of releasing balloons after the first touchdown at home games. That may seem like a bad thing for all those Cornhusker fans out there, but know the university made the decision to save the helium they have for medical purposes. Helium is actually used to cool magnets used in MRI machines. If you are still trying to have a balloon-filled party, get creative. Make a balloon arch or even a balloon mosaic.

#4: Popcorn

It gets hot out there in the summer, and whether you are trying to avoid sunburn or that sticky humidity, the movie theater is always a great place to get out of the heat. But just like peanut butter with jelly, what would a movie be without popcorn drenched in artificial butter flavoring? With fertilizer prices going way up, farmers are opting to grow soybeans instead of fertilizer-intensive corn, meaning popcorn is harder to come by. Theaters are also having trouble sourcing containers for the good stuff. And all of this is weighing on theater owners who make a majority of their profits from concessions.

#3: Pilots

What is summer without a summer getaway? Fuel costs are rising, making a family roadtrip in the old station wagon extra pricey. So, you make the move to travel somewhere more exotic by airplane. On top of those same fuel prices inflating airfare, there is a shortage of pilots. Fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is at play, as many airlines offered early retirement to their most senior pilots and didn’t think demand would come back so quickly. This has already caused a ton of flight cancellations. Some carriers have proposed relaxing training requirements to get new pilots in the air quicker, but pilots are fighting back.

#2: Chlorine

All of this is very stressful. Maybe you should just relax by the family pool. That is, if you can find the chlorine needed to keep it sanitary. A pool boom since the pandemic is leading to the shortage, with pool supply companies struggling to keep them on hand. Plus, a fire at a major chlorine factory in Louisiana cut down on production of the chemical. They hope to be up and running near the latter part of the year. If you are thinking of hopping in without the germ-killing additive, think again if you want a sanitary summer.

#1: Lifeguards

So you couldn’t open your own pool this summer because it is stinky and green. Why not take the tots to the public pool? Well, a lack of training and recertification during the pandemic has seriously limited the number of available lifeguards. The problem is so bad it is affecting up to a third of the nation’s public pools. Some experts even say young people don’t want the job anymore. What could be better than sitting poolside and raking in the cash?

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