Businesses running low on change during a nationwide coin shortage

Posted at 11:21 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 14:14:14-04

BALTIMORE — A toilet paper shortage, meat shortage and now a coin shortage.

The COVID-19 pandemic has businesses running low on change after stay-at-home orders across the country disrupted the supply chain.

The pandemic also forced the U.S. Mint to cut production due to the lack of demand as people exchanged money less because social-distancing measures.

The Fed also limited the amount of coins it would give out back in June , leading banks to do the same. The shortage has trickled down to businesses.

There are now signs in every aisle at Sprouts Farmers Market informing customers they're running low on change, asking them to the pay with exact change or pay with you credit/debit card.

Shoppers heading to the grocery store had no idea there was a coin shortage.

“I haven’t heard anything about it," said Rachael Guzman.

Monica Brown said, "I knew nothing until you told me."

Sprouts is one many businesses across the country with signs encouraging customers to pay with a card, some are even providing incentives.

Gas stations like Sheetz are asking customers to pay with exact change, credit/debit card or round up to their purchase total and donate to charity.

Nick Ruffner, who is the Chief Public Relations Manager for Sheetz, said the shortage is "impacting" its locations, but it's not an "emergency" just yet.

When asked if running out of change would make it an emergency, he replied,"That would be right. Part of asking people to move too debit and credit as much as possible is making a difference in that.”

As of now, Ruffner said the Sheetz locations are still able to make change. But he said he does not know how long the shortage will last.

However, Fed officials say the economy is recovering and demand is returning to normal, so they're hopeful it may not last much longer.

“We want businesses to thrive," said Sprouts shopper Douglas Brown. "Hopefully, it won’t hurt them.”

Editors note: This story previously incorrectly referenced the Federal Reserve. This has been updated.