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A coin shortage across the country has Colorado business owners in a pinch

Man pays $3,000 DMV bill entirely in pennies
Posted at 9:45 PM, Jul 07, 2020

DENVER — A coin shortage across the country has some Denver businesses pinching pennies.

"Right now I have no pennies," said Nabi Hossain, a manager at City Bakery Café. "The owner, when he went to the bank to get more pennies, he could only get one roll from the bank."

Her café is hardly alone. Corner stores, restaurants, and gas stations across Denver are reminding patrons that exact change may not be possible. Pennies and nickels are hard to come by at the bank.

According to a spokesperson at the treasury department, the shortage of coins is happening because of a change in how Americans are spending money during a global pandemic. Many coins have also been taken out of circulation temporarily to inhibit the spread of coronavirus.

The impact is most felt in businesses that still use cash, like small restaurants and thrift stores. But with many payments going touchless, others hardly notice the change.

"I’ll be honest, I don’t even remember the last time I used coins. I think maybe six months ago," said a patron of City Bakery Café.

The US Mint will soon ramp up its production of coins for the rest of the year, and officials say as businesses adapt to new systems of payment, the flow of coins will likely adapt as well.

For some shoppers, they look forward to exact change once again.

"I like to operate in cash because I like to see what I am spending," said another shopper. "But if it is not an option anymore, then that’s what I have to adapt to."