CLEVELAND, Ohio — An unexpected result of the coronavirus is affecting businesses across the state. The Federal Reserve says we’re experiencing a coin shortage.
The Federal Reserve attributes the current coin shortage to two major factors. In a statement they said, “In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly and the U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees.”
Businesses like Meijer have posted signs alerting customers to use card or electronic payments only.
Lowe's in Fairlawn has a sign reading “The U.S. is currently experiencing a coin shortage. Please use correct change or other form of tender if possible.”
Coin laundromats are feeling the impact as well. Some are only allowing customers to purchase quarters.
For other small businesses, it doesn’t seem to be too big of a deal.
“We currently aren’t experiencing any issues with the coin shortage. Everybody mostly uses their credit card here,” said Allie LaValle, owner of Larder Deli and Bakery in Ohio City.
The coin shortage is affecting banks as well. A representative from Key Bank said in a statement, “We are currently monitoring the coin shortage and information from the Federal Reserve. We have guidelines in place for our branches to manage their coin circulation and will continue to work to minimize the impact on our clients.”
The Federal Reserve says the pandemic changed the normal circulation pattern and supply chain of the coin, explaining in a statement: “To ensure a fair and equitable distribution of existing coin inventory to all depository institutions, effective June 15, the federal reserve banks and their coin distribution locations began to allocate available supplies of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters to depository institutions as a temporary measure.”
This month, the Federal Reserve will convene the U.S. Coin Task Force in order to reduce consequence and duration of the coronavirus-related disruptions to normal coin circulation.