Pandemic short-changes many businesses
Less cash changing hands - coins now in short supply - NBC's Dan Scheneman reports
NEW YORK, N.Y. (KYMA, KECY) - Pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters are in short supply because of the pandemic. Coronavirus has short-changed America.
"The flow of coins through the economy , has kind of stopped.." said Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
The pandemic, and its related shutdowns, mean less money, including cash, is changing hands. That hurts businesses that rely on coins.
"Laundry mats, vending machines those are great examples of things that are very heavily coin based" says Greg McBride, with Bankrate.com.
Other businesses have been forced to adapt, insisting on either exact change, or payment with a credit or debit card.
"The reason for that is they are experiencing a disruption in coins and bills without having an adequate stock and taking in the cash they can't make change for." says McBride.
Experts say the shortage is only temporary.
"We are working with the mint and working with the reserve banks to get that supply where it needs to be." says Chairman Powell.
But while the mint makes more coins, it will take some time for the currency to get into circulation.
"It's a lot like when you shut off water at home, when you turn it back on, it takes a little while when you tune the faucet on - the water flows through." says McBride.
In the meantime, a penny saved is not only a penny earned, it's also a penny needed.