Coin shortage impacting Illinois businesses

There has been a lack of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but now it looks like coins are also a part of the shortage.

“If you have some pennies at home in a jar, hang on to ‘em!” said Phil Flynn from the PRICE of Futures group.

Flynn says there is a national coin shortage at the Federal Reserve Coin. 

“Basically it is being caused by the COVID-19 because it’s changed patterns. People are not paying with coins anymore,” said Flynn.

He says people are staying at home and when they do go out, they don’t usually use change because they don’t want physical contact.

“There’s a lot more credit cards being used. So in businesses that really depend on old fashioned coins, they are really finding a tight supply,” said Flynn.

Businesses like the sandwich chain, Cousins Subs, are being impacted at several locations including some locations in Illinois.

The chain has started asking cash paying customers to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar to support their local Boys and Girls Club. 

“We felt good about the situation and felt like most people would get it,” said Jason Westhoff, President of Cousins Subs.

Flynn says there has also been a transportation issue. 

“We can’t get the coins from the mint to the banks because of people not working, and people staying at home, people social distancing,” said Flynn. 

He says that makes moving the coins more difficult. 

“So the federal reserve to make up for the coins that we’re keeping at home and not using, they’re producing more coins to put into the market to try to alleviate the shortages,” said Flynn.