Pandemic causes coin shortage across the country
The coronavirus pandemic has created a coin shortage in the United States.
At Mario's Pizzeria in Oyster Bay, owner Peter Spanos says there's less change in his cash register these days.
A sign on the window of a Chase Bank in Syosset reads "we may need to limit coins" due to the supply shortage from the government.
The U.S. Mint says across the country, businesses and banks are short on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
Officials say it's not that there are fewer coins out there, but COVID-19 disrupted the circulation of them. They say precautions taken during the pandemic caused fewer people to use coins and cash at stores.
To help fix the problem, the Mint is producing more coins than usual and is asking for people to pay either by card or in exact change.
The U.S. Mint is asking people with jars of change or piggy banks to go the bank to exchange the coins for cash to replenish the change supply.
Some businesses are offering incentives for people who bring them coins. 7-Eleven tells News 12 at some of its locations people who bring in $5 in change will get $5 back in cash and a free Slurpee.
The U.S. Mint says it's expected to produce 1.65 billion coins per month for the rest of the year. Last year, it produced 1 billion coins every month.