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Coin shortage continues to be a struggle

Local businesses and financial institutions are becoming creative with the current struggle to receive coins from the Federal Reserve.

In June, the Federal Reserve implemented a temporary change in coin allocations for businesses and customers, limiting the amount they can receive. According to the reserve, the pandemic disrupted the supply chain for U.S. coins as well as causing fewer deposits of it by financial institutions and less production from the U.S. mint.

Cindy Ford, owner of Southwest Diner, said she has been purchasing coins from her employees so the restaurant does not run out.

“We weren’t having a problem at first, but now the credit union has started limiting it,” she said. “We’re going to run out if we don’t get some.”

Grandma Daisy’s Candy and Ice Cream Parlor’s owner Beth Walker said she may have to change how many coins are kept on hand if the limitations at the credit union continue. In addition to the usual purchases, Walker said the store has many customers who ask for change to use in the machines outside.

“It’s not a problem yet, but I expect it’s about to be a problem. … Quarters will be an issue, and dimes will be next,” she said.

Walker said she is also selling her own personal change to the store to help it have more.

According to the Boulder Dam Credit Union, 530 Avenue G, it has been having a difficult time receiving its coin orders from the Federal Reserve and has had to limit what it can give out to customers.

“For the last several weeks, the Federal Reserve limited our order,” said Steele Hendrix, executive vice president of the Boulder Dam Credit Union. “This week they just started giving us our full order.”

Hendrix said to accommodate the smaller amount of coin, staff has to look daily at how much they have on hand and allocate it accordingly. He said the amount they are able to give out varies on the customers’ demand for it.

Additionally, Hendrix said that even though the credit union’s change machine is “heavily used,” it does not help increase the institution’s supply because all of the coins do not stay at the facility. They are all sent to the Federal Reserve.

“If you have coin now, use it in the system,” he said.

Hendrix also said people should pay with coins when possible at local businesses or use debit cards for purchases to help keep more change in the system.

Anthony Timmons, a public affairs officer with Wells Fargo said the Boulder City branch is also having to monitor the coin situation and plan accordingly.

“We are actively managing our coin inventory and working with customers to meet their coin needs to the extent possible after the Federal Reserve put limitations on coin deliveries to all financial institutions nationwide,” he said.

According to the mint, paying for items with exact change will also help. It is also asking consumers to start spending what coins they have or depositing and exchanging them. Additionally, there has been an increase in orders for newly minted coins, but there is an adequate amount of coins in the economy. They just aren’t readily available where needed, as shoppers have cut back on visiting retailers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Las Vegas Review-Journal Reporter Nicole Raz contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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