United States coin shortage

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – A nationwide coin shortage is impacting people and businesses in many parts of the country. Experts say it’s due to a shortage of cash flow during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it won’t last forever.

“Basically, the supply shrunk because coins were just out of circulation so when the economy restarted it really created a supply issue,” said President and CEO of SmartBank Billy Carroll. “So, the Mint, so their staff, they were on their pandemic plan, so their staff wasn’t there to be able to produce the normal allotment and it really created that perfect coin storm.”

Banks are helping those customers get the change they need. But how often do people really even use cash anymore? Carroll explained, “Where you have a lot of tourism businesses, they’re a little heavier cash utilizers so some markets are heavier coin users than others.”

Carroll added, “Try to make exact change. That’s something we can all do to help. And then the other is just really look for opportunities just go ahead and use your debit cards or your Apple Pays.” That should give the coins time to recirculate and fix the problem and pretty much any bank will trade in your coins for cash.

Bankers don’t expect the shortage to be long-lived. They say the Mint should start operating again soon and the flow of coins will even out.

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