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Business owners affected by nationwide coin shortage

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    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV/KSMO) — Business owners around the metro are feeling the impact of the nationwide coin shortage.

COVID-19 bank and business closures significantly disrupted the supply chain and circulation patterns.

Now, business owners are doing what they can to keep change changing hands to get coins flowing again.

The owner of Fav Trip said that, so far, they are able to receive enough dimes and nickels. The problem is they are running very short on pennies

At Fav Trip locations in Kansas City, Independence, and Leavenworth, they are seeing a spike in credit and debit card use. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay use increased by about 5 to 8% during the pandemic at their stores.

“As the customers’ behaviors change, we have to change and adapt to it as well,” said Babir Sultan, Fav Trip President and CEO.

When customers do choose to use cash, Sultan’s employees will round up in the customers’ favor if they don’t have enough coins on hand for exact change. That courtesy can add up over time.

“We started noticing the bank was limiting how much change we could get, now we are really seeing the effect of it,” Sultan said. “We are hoping the shortage doesn’t continue.”

At the Federal Reserve, a temporary cap was imposed on the orders depository institutions place for coins.

Signs at QuikTrips and other businesses around the country are asking customers for exact change. Any money back at QuikTrips will be in the form of a gift card if coins aren’t available.

A U.S. Coin Task Force was formed earlier this month. Their initial recommendations are expected by the end of this month. Some businesses and banks are offering coin buyback programs.

Sultan said, “People that just have penny jars, why not exchange them in? Especially nowadays when everybody needs it. That would be great.”

As business owners adapt to COVID-19 restrictions and coin shortages, they are also forced to deal with damage from determined criminals.

In one surveillance video, you can see sparks flying from a thief who used a concrete cutoff saw to slice his way inside two convenience stores in Raytown and Kansas City.

Each time he tried to cut into ATMs inside the stores.

At a third store in Independence, another thief smashed his way inside to grab a long string of lottery tickets. You can see those tickets trailing behind the sock wearing thief as he gets away.

If you recognize anyone in the surveillance videos, you are asked to call police.

“It hurts the business quite a bit,” Sultan said. “Like I mentioned in the video, COVID is bad enough. These break-ins are not helping at all. Especially small businesses.”

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