BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Maybe you’ve seen signs on the doors of certain businesses, telling customers about a national coin shortage. It seems the coronavirus, the hoarding of coins and the brief shutdown of a mint have some retailers short on change.
Rulli Brothers has been in the grocery business for 103 years and it’s never experienced a coin shortage.
“It’s very interesting,” Mike Rulli said. “My dad said — and even his father said — during the Depression, even when the banks closed, you still had change to make change.”
He said when you don’t have coins, you can’t take cash.
“So we’ve loaded up on coins as much as we can and, actually, I have a couple friends that own laundromats so I’ve been buying their coins.”
“We literally move coins from time to time from one location to another because the inputs and outflows don’t quite match,” said Gary Small, president of Home Savings Bank.
He said the coin shortage is real and during the pandemic, more people have been using credit cards so there are fewer coins in the financial system.
Also, one of the mints was closed for a while.
“The Federal Reserve has been working to get more coins actually minted and out the door. It’s going to take a little while,” Small said.
At Rulli Brothers, Fadi Chammas explained what he does with coins, which also led to the shortage.
“When I get change back, sometimes I just put them in a little box to collect them to eventually take it back to a bank and get actual paper money.”
Rulli Brothers goes through quarters and pennies the most.
“Fortunately, the culture of the country has moved more toward credit cards, so we’re about 70% credit cards, 30% currency,” Rulli said.
The banker and grocer said one way you can help is if you have rolled coins sitting at home, bring them to a bank and cash them in or take them to a store and sell them.