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No Dud: Legalization of Fireworks is Economic 'Boom' for Maine
AUGUSTA – Dozens of Maine people are back to work and millions of dollars in new revenue have been generated thanks to the legalization of fireworks.
For the first time in more than 63 years the sale and use of fireworks is permitted in Maine. “This has always been about opening up a new market, creating jobs and sustaining economic growth in Maine,” said Governor Paul LePage who enthusiastically signed the bill into law more than a year ago.
Since fireworks became legal on January 1st of this year, a dozen new retail stores have opened in 11 communities all the way from Presque Isle to Scarborough.
Steve Marson, owner of Pyro City Fireworks, operates five stores in: Manchester, Winslow, Edgecomb, Ellsworth and Presque Isle. So far Marson has hired more than 40 full time employees. “Revenues have been better than expected,” said Marson who is projecting close to $4 million dollars in revenue this year alone.
“I’m happy about the response and believe that there is a good future for fireworks in Maine and that it will have a positive economic impact,” said William Weimer, owner of Phantom Fireworks in Scarborough. Phantom employs upwards of five full timers and roughly 70 people on a seasonal basis.
The legalization of fireworks also puts more of an emphasis on safety. In addition to fireworks, a majority of the retail establishments provide consumers with brochures and downloadable videos with information on how to use them safely. Many national experts say legalizing fireworks actually cuts down on the number of accidents.