Yet another problem from the global coronavirus pandemic has hit the region: a shortage of coins.
The shortage stems from two areas. On the one hand, production at the U.S. Mint of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies is down, mostly for social distancing reasons. And two, restaurants, retailers and gas stations/convenience stores are pushing consumers to use credit cards, to promote contactless payment. Things are so bad in some places the Federal Reserve recently began to ration coins, and it’s also launched a national task force to address the issue.
Locally, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank is also addressing the coin shortage, saying, in a statement, that the shortage is “affecting local restaurants and businesses that accept and provide change in cash.” The bank, in response, is asking consumers to turn in their coins for cash dollars. Coins don’t need to be rolled to be turned in, the bank adds, and existing customers also have the option to direct deposit the funds into their accounts.
“Coin counting for paper currency or direct deposit is always free for our customers, and we are asking for their assistance in helping us increase coin circulation,” says Sanibel Captiva Community Bank Senior Vice President and Director of Deposit Operations Lana Hollier in the statement. “Coin-counting allows us to assist both individuals who would like to turn in their coins and local businesses in need of getting more coins into circulation to complete transactions.”
Sanibel Captiva lobbies and branches are currently open with social distancing and safety measures in place. The bank’s branches on 2475 Library Way in Sanibel; 7040 Winkler Rd.; 15975 McGregor Blvd.; 11691 Gateway Blvd.; and 9311 College Parkway, all in Fort Myers, are accepting coins. Founded in 2003, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank has $560 million in total assets and 100 employees.