See why coins are in short supply around Mid-Michigan

ELGA Credit Union talks how long the coin shortage is expected to last.
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 4:52 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (7/16/2020) - First we didn't have enough toilet paper, now we've run out of nickels, dimes, quarters, and pennies.

The coin shortage across the United States is causing a headache for customers wanting to pay in cash.

“It was kind of bizarre but then once you start looking into the reasons it makes perfect sense that this would happen,” said Terry Katzur, the Executive Vice President for ELGA Credit Union.

He said there are a few reasons why we're experiencing a coin shortage. For one, the mints that produce nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies slowed production during the pandemic. Plus, he said businesses that use cash and circulate coins have been closed during the shutdown.

“So therefore, the coin hasn’t been circulating through the economy and it’s creating shortages at many stores and financial institutions,” Katzur said.

So right now, if you pay with cash at Kroger, instead of giving you your change in coins, the cashier will add what's owed to your loyalty card.

At Meijer, you can use cash but only at a staffed cashier lane.

Katzur said at ELGA. they've had to limit the coin they give out to businesses in an effort to make sure there's something available to all of their members.

“In order to help out with the shortage, if you have coin at home, you should go turn it in and get cash for it; and then that way, that coin can be put back into the system,” Katzur explained.

Typically, he said ELGA will send those coins collected in their counters to the Fed; but, several branches are recycling them back to members, instead.

So how long can we expect this issue?

“I think as more and more businesses can reopen, it should kind of correct itself; and not to mention, I said the Mint is generating more coins and they’re starting to get those out into circulation. So, hopefully it’s short lived,” Katzur said.

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