SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Local businesses are coming up roses on Valentine's Day.
"Valentine's Day is huge for us," said Sterling Rose, between sales at Rose of Sharon Florist. "It's one of our two big holidays. Valentine's and Mother's Day are the two big ones and this one is a big rush every year."
The longtime Santa Maria flower shop was abuzz with activity all day long.
"It has been basically nonstop since we opened today, including yesterday too," said Rose. "We had a steady stream of people coming in, placing order, lot of phone calls, and a lot of online orders too."
For businesses like Rose of Sharon, and many others, Valentine's Day is a time to cash in.
According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine's Day shoppers are projected to add nearly $27.4 billion to the economy.
That's a huge jump from last year, when Valentine's Day shopping totaled $20.7 billion.
Like flower shops, other businesses with a natural tie-in to Valentine's Day, such as jewelry stores, candy shops and restaurants are happy to see February 14th on the calendar.
At Fischer's Fine Jewelry, ownership says this is one of the top three selling periods of the year.
"It's certainly one of the most important days for us, probably in the top three as things go through the year," said owner Katherine Fischer. "It's a lot of fun."
Fischer has operated the longtime Main Street business for 40 years. She added the holiday is second only to Christmas in terms of sales and this year, in particular, is looking strog.
"It's been a good, yes, definitely," said Fischer. "Last year, was a particularly good year and this year is going to be the same, so we appreciate that we appreciate our customers."
As for what the typical customer looks like, Fischer said without hesitation, it's usually male.
"Our percentage of men's shoppers goes up quite a bit in the ten days before Valentine's Day, especially the day of and the day before," said Fischer.
"Rubies are very popular. Heart shapes are very popular, but lots of people, lots our customers, enjoy something that is different, that isn't what everyone else has."
Across the street inside the Santa Maria Town Center mall, business was booming at Central City Candy Shop.
"Chocolates, flowers, balloons," said owner Sheila Guge, listing the popular items being bought during the day. "We try and make it as simple as possible. One stop shop, get everything you need. Makes the guys happy."
Guge pointed out Valentine's Day is crucial to the overall success of her shop, which has operated in the center of the Town Center for 10 years.
"I would say in the two to three days that it takes to do Valentine's Day, we do the same amount of business that we do the Christmas season," said Guge. "It holds us through those leaner months."
She added having Valentine's Day on Friday was an added benefit. Guge noted when it lands in the middle of the week, some people celebrate the holiday the weekend before, while some do the weekend after.
"Friday, Saturday, you know when it's going to happen, so you know when the rush is going to hit," Guge said. There's no questioning."