Businesses and banks alike are facing a common issue as a result of the pandemic – a shortage of change in that’s in circulation. The shortfall is part of the trickle down effect of the Federal Reserve’s strict limits on coin requests.
“We have had a problem with coin orders at some branches. We’ve been told that it may be a couple of months before the Federal Reserve Banks get back in the coin business,” said Paul McCreary, manager of Amory’s Cadence Bank branch.
He suspects that production at locations of the United States Mint may be affected by restrictions imposed to combat the spread of the virus, which appears to be compounded by coins being stashed away by people rather than being kept in circulation.
“We’ve got enough at this point, but replacing it is the problem. COVID has set us back,” McCreary said.
According to a press release from the Federal Reserve, a temporary coin order allocation in all Reserve Bank offices and Federal Reserve coin distribution locations was announced effective June 15, placing strict limits on requests for pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar coins.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin,” the release said.
Lann Hardware owner Walter Lann III shared his perspective of the situation.
“We are experiencing coin shortages – especially quarters. I’ve been buying quarters from a laundromat business,” he said.
Other details released confirmed that recent 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 Centers for Disease Control measures put in place to protect its employees.
Anyone with change to spare can help by taking it to the nearest bank to roll and exchange for paper currency or paying as much of the balance at the store counter with all the spare change people have.
“The virus has impacted us all,” Lann said.