National coin shortage impacts nonprofits


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) If you’ve been out and about over the past couple of months you may have noticed signs at stores asking for exact change or payment by credit card.

Thanks to a national coin shortage many stores and restaurants are making changes when it comes to paying.

The federal government reports that business and bank closures connected with the pandemic have greatly disrupted the coin supply.

While there is an adequate overall amount of coins in our economy, the circulation has slowed since people are spending more time at home and shopping in person less.

This shortage has caused businesses to require payment by card or implement an exact change policy.

“People aren’t paying as much in cash they are paying a lot more with a card, shopping online. Then with banks having limited or closed hours a lot of people aren’t able to cash their checks or they are having to get a direct deposit,” said Catherine Honeycutt, Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina

What does this mean for you?

  • If you are un-banked or under-banked you are likely to have the hardest time because sources like money orders or pawn shop loans may just simply be managed differently.
  • Look for signs whether they require a card or exact change payments.
  • Be aware of any other types of recent business changes.

During this time some businesses have even partnered with charities to donate excess change or adjusted their pricing to be exact dollar amounts.

For nonprofit organizations that rely on spare change, this is a big deal.

The Salvation Army expects to see a great need for services due to higher unemployment rates.

That’s why the organization is rethinking how it will host its annual Red Kettle Campaign.

Some locations across America are starting early in hopes of making up the difference in lost donations. Many are also getting creative when it comes to taking donations.

“We are doing contactless kettle donations there, will be a QR code on every kettle sign across America,” said Major Mike Dickinson, The Salvation Army Intermountain Division

In addition to people carrying less cash and coins, COVID-19 restrictions will impact where bell ringers are set up.

The salvation army expects to see a 50% decrease in the number of traditional kettles because of store closures and more online shopping.

If you’d like to help support the salvation army during its “Rescue Christmas” initiative click HERE.

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