Local businesses and banks talk about impact of national coin shortage

Signs are posted at Goose Creek Market in Fishersville, asking people to pay with exact change...
Signs are posted at Goose Creek Market in Fishersville, asking people to pay with exact change or alternate tender due to the national coin shortage.(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 3:54 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — The United States is dealing with a coin shortage.

“Businesses were closed, and there was no real circulation of the coin that occurred,” Leigh Blevins, Branch Manager of F&M Bank’s Coffman’s Corner location, said.

She said F&M bank was notified mid-June by the Federal Reserve that coin inventory was lower than usual.

“So, to be fair, in distribution of the coin, the Federal Reserve placed a coin order limit on all banks,” Blevins said.

F&M Bank is ordering as many coins as they can now.

"So we will be prepared to be able to supply the businesses with the coin, and so far we've been able to fill their request," Blevins said.

Local businesses are also stocking up on coins.

"We probably bought like $2,500 worth of coin," Steve Boward said. "If the Fed truly is not going to ship out coin to the banks for the next three months, everybody is going to run out. I didn't want to be the first one."

Boward owns the Goose Creek Market in Fishersville.

"People still pay cash. Probably two-thirds of our business now is cards, and one-third is still cash," Boward said.

He said he is doing everything he can to keep the cash flow going so that people who like paying cash can continue to do so.

Boward said he feels comfortable with the amount of coin he has now for the business, but there are still signs posted asking people to pay exact change or use a different form of payment.

"Customers could possibly help us out to last longer by having change because most everybody has change jars," Boward said.

Boward says the cost of business goes up when people pay with a card.

If this shortage continues, Blevins said consumer behavior could change with more people relying on checks and cards.

So, she is recommending that businesses look into accepting credit and debit cards.

"Also the consumer, if you have coin laying around the house or piggy banks for your children, you might want to go ahead and deposit that to your local bank," Blevins said.

Not only will you be able to earn interest on that money, but it will also allow more coins to be circulated and given out to the businesses that need it.

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