Pandemic and shutdowns result in circulating coin shortage

News Connection

The Federal Reserve and U.S. Mint have created a task force

SAN ANGELO, Texas — You may have recently noticed signs at local shops asking you to pay with credit card or exact change. This is due to the slow circulation of coin across the country caused by the pandemic.

“It’s really more of a circulation problem rather than a true shortage,” said Michelle Pape, Vice President of Texas Bank in San Angelo.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused store closures and lockdown measures across the country, which is what Michelle Pape said stalled out the circulation of coins throughout the economy.

“A lot of establishments like retail shops, coin operated laundromats, public transportation in a lot of areas has really slowed down or shut down completely. These areas where coin typically goes into circulation are just not happening as much. That’s what’s causing stores and retail establishments to be short on coins to give back as change,” explained Pape.

Pape said this problem won’t last forever. The Federal Reserve and U.S. Mint have created a task force and are working together to up production and regulate the distribution of coins. Until then, banks and businesses will have to manage what coins they do have.

“We’re trying to roll our own coin rather than request shipments in. Loose coin, we will still ship some out to help get it into circulation,” added Pape.

If you like paying in cash, she recommends you carry some extra change with you to avoid running into problems while shopping.

“If you like to shop with cash you might be prepared to bring a little extra change so you can have the exact change, otherwise you might not get any change back. You can bring your coins to your bank and exchange them for paper money. A lot of people do that when their jar gets full. There’s different ways, of course you can always pay with your debit card if you don’t have enough change. Those are just a few things you can do to help get it back into circulation,” said Pape.



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