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Coin shortage impacting Tulsa businesses

Posted at 5:08 PM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 09:22:16-04

TULSA, Okla. — First, there was a shortage of toilet paper and disinfecting products, then it was baking ingredients and now it’s pocket change.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused the shortage impacting cash flow across the country.

2 Works for You has received several complaints from viewers saying they haven’t been able to get change at stores and banks.

One of the businesses impacted by the shortage is QuikTrip.

QuikTrip is known for its fast service and quick cashiers that are now trying to navigate conserving coins.

QT Spokesperson, Mike Thornbrugh said it’s something they’ve never had to deal with.

“Welcome to 2020! Here's what's going on. The Federal Reserve Chairman announced last week because of certain things that happened during COVID, that there could be a shortage of change, meaning the mints aren't producing as much as they used to. People haven't been out and about getting the coins in circulation and I mean the banks have been closed down, the lobbies closed, so nobody really had any place to redeem their coins. So, right now we're doing some precautionary things to get ready for, just in case,” Thornbrugh said.

The Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, told Congress last week, the shortage was caused by several factors.

A slowdown in production due to social distancing, businesses shutting down, cash machines closing and more people paying with cards.

Meanwhile, companies like QuikTrip are trying to find solutions to the problem while they wait for coins to get back into circulation.

“Well, we're gonna do several things. Number one, we're going to have signage up to let everybody know. Number two, if you can, we're going to ask you do the right change, correct change. Another way is people probably going to use more credit cards, than normal. Then we're going to go old school on you. We're asking if you’ve got coins in your piggy bank and your dresser drawer, bring them into QuikTrip and we’ll redeem them penny for penny. Another way, we'll give you a QT gift card that has a differential on it until this goes away,” Thornbrugh said.

The Federal Reserve Chairman has not set a timeline on when the coin shortage will end.

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