When the economy shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coins stopped circulating and that has started to impact local businesses.
The Federal Reserve announced in a statement issued on June 11th, “To ensure a fair and equitable distribution of existing coin inventory to all depository institutions, effective June 15th, the Federal Reserve Banks and their coin distribution locations began to allocate available supplies of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters to depository institutions as a temporary measure.
“The temporary coin allocation methodology is based on historical order volume by coin denomination and depository institution endpoint, and current U.S. Mint production levels. Order limits are unique by coin denomination and are the same across all Federal Reserve coin distribution locations. Limits will be reviewed and potentially revised based on national receipt levels, inventories, and Mint production.”
Signs of the shortage are starting to show up in Gainesville.
Lowe’s in Butler Plaza posted a sign stating: “Attention Customers: The U.S. is currently experiencing a coin shortage. Please use correct change or other form of tender if possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
According to SunState Federal Credit Union Senior Vice President of Operations Suzanne Friis, local banks are most likely not experiencing a coin shortage. It’s the commercial banks who supply coins to businesses that are feeling the effects of the shutdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the months of March and April while we had lobbies closed, we weren’t able to have customers or members come into banks or credit unions with their coin. When coin comes into a financial institution, they build up a supply and ship it to the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve rolls it and puts them on their shelves to be able to ship back out.”
What local residents can do to help out is to “Bring in those piggy banks and jugs that families keep coins in,” Friis said.
“When a little one brings in a piggy bank, we make a big deal out of it,” she said.