Local businesses experience impact of national coin shortage

Local businesses experience impact of national coin shortage

The saying “shortchanged” is now becoming more of a reality in the Miami Valley as businesses are seeing the first-hand effects of the national coin shortage.

Signs asking customers to pay with exact change or card are starting to pop-up at local businesses. It’s the result of a national coin shortage due of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Federal Reserve, which manages coin production and distribution, the pandemic has significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation for U.S. coins. As a result, the Federal Reserve is rationing its distribution of coins to banks. That means banks are supplying less coins to businesses prompting customers to use exact change or pay using a credit or debit card.

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Marlene Dillavou said she noticed a sign at the Kroger in Austin Landing while she was shopping Monday. The sign tells customers if they pay with cash, they will not get any coin change back. Instead, it will be applied to their Kroger loyalty card.

Dillavou said the shortage will not impact her at the checkout line. “I usually use credit card and there are few times I use money. But I am using credit card a lot, especially during these days.”

The national coin shortage is starting to have an impact on local business.

Lesa Hunter is the owner of Centerville Cleaners Coin Laundry.

“We collect from our machines and then recycle in our coin machine that gives customers change,” Hunter said. “As long as I don’t have anyone off the street coming in and using my machine and not doing laundry here, we seem to be okay.”

Hunter does worry a coin shortage could eventually take a toll on her business.

“Are we going to get to a point where we are going to be forced to put the credit card readers on our machines because there are no coins?” Hunter asked. “It would be costly for us to do that – it’s not cheap, so yeah, we do worry about that.”

The Federal Reserve reports it is working with the U.S. Mint to produce more coins. The reserve projects coin circulation will return to normal as more businesses reopen.