Coin shortage now affecting Utah liquor stores

Jul 15, 2020, 5:30 PM
coin shortage utah...

SALT LAKE CITY– The loose change jar or secret stash of quarters in the car may look a little sparse soon.  Coronavirus pandemic shortages have struck again, only this time it’s not toilet paper or disposable gloves, it’s cold hard coins. 

Utah businesses across the state have been asking customers to pay with exact change, card, or mobile wallet due to a national coin shortage. Now, the Utah State Liquor stores are following suit. A sign will be posted at every register, requesting people to pay with exact change or other payment methods in an effort to preserve the coins. 

In an e-mail to KSL, Director of Communication and Public Information with the Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, Terry Wood said “We are not demanding exact change, but requesting help with the coin shortage.” He said the lack of change “is a problem at many retail outlets in these COVID times.” 

Where did all the change go? 

In an investigation by KSL-TV reporters Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage discovered the Federal Reserve has been limiting the amount of coins banks can request. 
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently told Congress the supply of change dwindled when the economy hit the brakes due to the pandemic. Americans haven’t been spending as much and when they do, they’re rarely using cash and coin. 
Additionally, coin production decreased because the U.S. Mint was trying to protect its employees from the virus.

“It’s hard to make coin, you know, working from home,” said Howard Headlee with the Utah Bankers Association. He said production is ramping back up, but Headlee’s not predicting when the coin shortage will end.

Trudy Theobald, branch manager of the Bank of Utah in Ogden said they have to be stingy on who gets spare change. 

“We can only give out a certain amount of coins to make sure that we have enough for all our customers that we have to help,” said  Theobald. 

Use your spare change for good 

There is a way to can help alleviate the coin shortage. Take your piggy bank full of coins to the bank. Cash in on your coin investment. Bankers will thank you and so will your bank account. 

Additionally, those who don’t have access to a bank account and rely on cash to pay for their necessities, need the change. Every coin counts, especially for those who rely on quarters for laundry. 

Today’s Top Stories


canada truck blockade COVID...
ROB GILLIES and TOM KRISHER Associated Press

Four-day truck blockade at US-Canada border shuts auto plants

The bumper-to-bumper demonstration entered its fourth day Thursday at the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit.
5 months ago
Utah's unemployment rate continues to sit lower than national than the national average.
Photo: Nam...
By Paul Wiseman

US unemployment claims at 52-year low

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plunged last week to the lowest level in 52 years.
7 months ago
Money, COVID-19 financial assistance program reportedly a big success. Photo: Pexels...
Paul Nelson

Salt Lake City calls COVID-19 financial assistance program a big success, some housing funds still available

Officials in Salt Lake City say their financial assistance program to help families with during the pandemic was a success. 
7 months ago
FEMA Photo: canva...
Eliza Craig

FEMA adds $8.4 million to Utah’s COVID response fund

FEMA said the funding will go toward personal protective equipment including medical gowns, N95 masks, and gloves.
8 months ago
September Jobs...
Anneken Tappe, CNN Business

Major disappointment: US economy adds only 194,000 jobs in September

US employers added only 194,000 jobs in September, another troubling sign that Covid is disrupting the economy.
9 months ago
Holla Dollars...
Mary Richards

“Holla Dollars” are released in Holladay to support local business

Holla Dollars can be downloaded in ten dollar increments and were made available by money sent to the state for pandemic relief.
9 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Coin shortage now affecting Utah liquor stores