GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's an unexpected result of the COVID-19 pandemic: a coin shortage.
"There is a lot of businesses that are closed that are coin heavy or coin-driven like laundromats, car washes, bars and restaurants, so banks are not getting the amount of coins we normally would," says Adrienne Postma with Lake Michigan Credit Union.
Fewer employees printing coins at the United States Mint and more customers wanting to use plastic have led to the nationwide coin shortage.
"I think consumers feel a little more comfortable inserting and taking out their own credit and debit card," says Alan Hartline with Kingma's.
Local banks say they are now receiving just half the amount of coins than before the pandemic. The shortage has led Meijer to reduce the number of checkout lanes that accept cash and other retailers are also making special requests.
"Our cashiers are asking right now for customers if they have by chance the exact change," says Hartline.
Experts say things should improve as coin reserves are set to be released by the government and more parts of the country reopen. Local banks say you can also help.
"Most people have a jar of coin laying around or some rolled coins. So if you could roll that and bring it in to deposit it, that would be helpful because then we could provide it out to those people that need it to run their businesses," says Postma.
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