Got some change? Coin shortage impacts North Carolina

North Carolina

(WGHP) — It seems like some things just keep coming around.

In 1932, songwriters Yip Harburg and Jay Gorney composed what became the anthem of the Great Depression: a song called, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”

Ninety years later, the idea is back in a slightly different form as a coin shortage emerges and businesses are asking if consumers can spare dimes and nickels – the two coins that seem to be in the highest demand around central North Carolina right now.

“Overall, I think it’s been more of an annoyance than anything,” said Lee Ann Myers, who works with Pinnacle Financial Partners, a bank that’s based in Nashville, Tennessee, but has branches all around the southeast. “If you’re a regular debit or credit card user, you probably haven’t even noticed it.”

But, if cash is the way you want to shop, you certainly have noticed the coin shortage which Myers says is very real.

“A lot of people (in the general public) don’t believe that there is a shortage and living it with my background, I know that there is,” Myers said.

It’s severe enough that some retailers are no longer providing change after a transaction. But the North Carolina Attorney General’s office says that if they’re not going to provide change, they should have that fact clearly posted in areas customers would see it well before the point at which they would pay. 

A spokesperson for Attorney General Josh Stein says if someone has a complaint about not being provided change, they can contact the AG’s office.

For people like Cynthia Chance, who has been ringing a bell for the Salvation Army for 14 years, coin donations are definitely down in the red kettles. 

But she has faith that the Army will have what it needs in the end.

“We just believe in God’s model: ee do what we can and he’ll do the rest,” Cynthia said. “God usually comes through for us in the end.”

See more on the coin shortage in this edition of the Buckley Report.

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