Coin shortage due to virus

GLOVERSVILLE — Customers of local businesses may have noticed signs asking for change, or a prefer payment method to be a credit or bank card due to an ongoing coin shortage across the nation and locally.

“Due to the substantial disruption of the supply chain and standard circulation activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a national coin shortage,” said NBT Bank’s Fulton Montgomery Retail Market Manager John Prividera “Coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly. This is in addition to a decreased production of the U.S. Mint as it put in place measures to protect its employees.”

There is a coin shortage of all coins — quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. marketing coordinator of Stewart’s Shop Jeffery Vigliotta said. There has been more of shortage with quarters, he said.

Prividera said they received a notification of a coin shortage from the Federal Reserve Bank on June 11.

In a press release issued by the Federal Reserve it states, “The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin. In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly and the U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees”

The coin shortage has impacted area businesses, in which Vigliotta said there haven’t been any major issues and has not impacted day-to-day business at any of the shops in the area. He said it has been sporadic, but some banks have been limiting the amount of coin Stewart’s Shops can receive.

“From our understanding [the coin shortage] is caused by the reduced production of coins by the U.S. Mint due to COVID-19 and the reduced usage of coins being used by customers in vending machines, laundromats, car washes. This reduces the amount of coins banks take in,” Vigliotta said.

Prividera said the most pressure has been on business customers who are unable to obtain the level of coin they are typically accustomed to having on hand.

“This means that some businesses are occasionally unable to make change for their customers,” Prividera said.

One way customers and community members can help banks and local businesses is by exchanging any coins they might have whether it be rolled or loose change.

Vigliotta said customers have been bringing in rolls of coins to some Stewart’s Shop locations, but customers are welcome to bring rolls in where it is most convenient for them whether it be the bank or to a local business.

“To assist with addressing this shortage, community members can bring in their coins into a local branch,” Prividera said. “A coin machine is available at our Gloversville branch at 100 Second Avenue Extension. NBT has waived the non-customer fee for using our coin machines for the foreseeable future.”

According to the Federal Reserve, the coin supply chain includes many participants such as the U.S. Mint who produces new coins and the Federal Reserve who distributes coin on the U.S. Mint’s behalf, along with armored carriers, banks, retailers and consumers.

To help with the coin shortage, the Federal Reserve is working with the U.S. Mint to minimize supply constraints and maximize coin production capacity.

“We are encouraging depository institutions to order only the coin they need to meet near-term customer demand and to remove barriers to customer coin deposits,” the release states.

Earlier this month, they also established a coin task force to work together to “identify, implement, and promote actions to reduce the consequence and duration of COVID-19 related disruptions to normal coin circulation.”

Just like the uncertainty of the pandemic, it is unknown how long the coin short will last.

“Like many other disruptions that COVID-19 has caused, it is impossible for us to predict how long the shortage will last, as there are many factors that have contributed to the scarcity of coin,” Prividera said.

By Patricia Older