Coin shortage impacts on the local economy

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s more valuable than a sock. Quarters are gold inside the Lost Sock Laundromat. A national coin shortage is bringing some unusual guests to their location.

“They’ll come in grab change, and they just leave,” said Cherokee Thomas, Lost Sock Laundromat employee.

It’s making their business lose more than some spare change.

“Because we cycle the coins out from the machines and everything, it just makes us lose money, a lot of money,” said Thomas.

Jeremy Hill, director of Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University, says the coin shortage is similar to another shortage back in March.

“Everyone got scared and went out and bought extra toilet paper. Well, the coin shortage has some similarities. Now, we are holding on to (coins) and trying to accumulate them just for that rainy day,” he said.

A majority of people have credit or debit cards to use while pinching their pennies. However, the coin shortage brings worry for some.

“It’s the people which are un-banked which tend to be lower-income, have lower education, and also be living paycheck to paycheck,” said Hill.

Hill says as the economy begins to flow more the shortage will improve.

“The cash is out there just like we had plenty of toilet paper out there. We just were holding on to it. There’s plenty of coins out in the economy that we can just share with our neighbors to make it by.”

The Lost Sock says they’re hoping the shortage ends soon because they’re dependent on coins.

“If we don’t have coins, we don’t have customers and when that happens the business goes down and that puts a damper on the owners big time,” said Thomas.

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