DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Toward the start of the coronavirus pandemic, many retainers and financial institutions experienced a severe shortage of coins. While the economy has started to improve, the Federal Reserve said some individuals still may not have access to all of the coins they need. However, they say that’s not necessarily due to a lack of coins, but instead insufficient circulation.

“There is currently an adequate overall amount of coins in the economy. But business and bank closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted normal circulation patterns for U.S. coins,” the Federal Reserve said to address frequently asked questions. 

Some businesses are still being affected by the decreased circulation of the in-demand currency. One industry that is especially subject to the impact is laundromats. 

Michael Moore, owner of Time Saver Laundromat in West Carrollton, said he is reminded consistently that there isn’t enough to go around. 

“For my business, since they know that it’s more crucial for me, [financial institutions] may short somebody else to make sure I get a few extras or something,” he said. 

However, he said his ability to do business has still been impacted, as some financial institutions have limited the amount of coins they’re able to give out. 

“I have to let them know several days in advance, where before, I was able just to give them a call and say, ‘Hey, by the way, I need some quarters today,’ and it was never a problem,” said Moore.

With reliable vendors to circulate coins in and out of branch locations, Day Air Credit Union said they are one institution that has not been drastically impacted by the issue, which more heavily affects retailers and other businesses that rely on consumer spending. However, they too have acted proactively in order to serve their members.

“Since the coin shortage started, we did try and bulk up just a little bit. Maybe having a little bit more than we normally would just in case we don’t get those orders in the future,” said Daniel Koon, branch manager at Day Air Credit Union in Kettering.

He added, one thing that he believes has helped get the economy back on track is local and chain businesses’ willingness to go cashless. Moore said he has looked into inserting card machines throughout his laundry facility, and doing so would be very costly and even turn some customers off. Luckily, the Federal Reserve said they are working to get coins circulating again, as they were before the pandemic began.

“As a first step, a temporary cap was imposed in June 2020 on the orders depository institutions place for coins with the Federal Reserve to ensure that the supply was fairly distributed. Because coin circulation patterns have not fully returned to pre-pandemic levels, caps were reinstated in May 2021,” the Federal Reserve explained on their website. “We continue to closely monitor orders and deposits from depository institutions as well as U.S. Mint production.“

Moore said in the meantime, those who need to use coins regularly may need to resort to some classic method to preserve them.

“Anytime [people] get change they could certainly pull the quarters out. I do that myself at home. I pull the quarters out just to save those separately,” he said.