National coin shortage affects local business

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – COVID-19 is affecting our wallets in more ways than just one and it is causing stress for some local business owners.

Local coin operated laundry owner, Cinda Arnold, said less jingle in your pocket is a danger for her business.

“I went to the bank to purchase some additional coins for the Wishy Wash, and I was told they didn’t have any coins,” said Arnold.

The pandemic is shortchanging the economy, literally.

According to the federal reserve, there is a coin shortage which has significantly disrupted the supply chain and the way U.S. coins are circulated.

“All of my machines run on coins. We also do take debit card so we can make that work, but we are mainly a coin store and what it means for me is I need coins to operate,” said Arnold.

Jennifer Johnson, a bank teller for Franklin Bank and Trust, said the bank can only order about 10% of the coins they could before from the Federal Reserve, and they are running very low on quarters.

“They cut us way back and at first we were like ‘Oh we can’t do this,’ but we’ve actually had some on stock, we’ve shared between the branches to help cover what some of our customers needed and we’ve actually had a couple customers bring in their coins from what they had at home and that has helped us a little bit,” Johnson said.

Many businesses are doing what they can to keep coins around.

“The sign on my door is asking my customers to only buy the amount of quarters that they need. Lots of times people will get a roll of quarters and maybe only spend $8 and take that $2 home and maybe put it in their bank, a jar in the closet, or whatever they do to save their coins.

“My customers are selling me back $1 or $2 that they have left over to help Wishy Wash make it through this coin shortage. We take our coins out of our machines and we recycle them. But, seeing what is coming, I want to make sure we have enough coins,” said Arnold.

If you happen to have a jar of coins lying around somewhere, many local businesses and banks are buying coins from individuals.

Federal reserve officials say they are confident the coin shortage will be resolved once more of the economy opens back up and coins go back to being circulated as usual.