Small businesses work to adapt to “coin shortage” due to pandemic

Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — You may have heard of it since the beginning of the pandemic — a coin shortage.

Many retail businesses decided to convert to digital payments only as a way to avoid passing germs from paper bills and coins.

The Federal Reserve System also decided to cut back on coins in circulation by about 45%.

Some small firms which rely on cash and coins in their business model had to make decisions about converting to digital.

One chain of laundromats in Hagerstown said it could not afford such an investment and it has managed all these months to keep the paper, copper and silver currency a staple of their operations.

“It would cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace all the machines that will not accept the digital card readers,” said Nathan Sweeney with The Laundry Room in Hagerstown.

Some laundromats in basement locations — especially in densely populated urban neighborhoods — cannot switch to digital because internet connections are impossible.

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