The Unknown Issue of 2020


Julia T. '24

This sign located at ACME alerts customers about the coin shortage.

During the coronavirus pandemic began another issue: a nationwide coin shortage. The U.S Mint, the national manufacturer of coins, lost a significant amount of staff due to the pandemic. This crisis has caused many businesses, especially small ones, to close down.

Maggie Patterson is a sophomore at Padua Academy. She works as a cashier at ACME, so the business was not immune to the effects of the coin shortage.

“It kind of became clear to me that businesses were collecting more change and giving out less even before I started this job, which I started just only a few months ago,” Patterson said.

Patterson claimed that the majority of the store’s customers are aware of the current problem, and they put in their best efforts to help sort out the problem. These customers showed that they want to make sure their grocery store does not suffer in this crisis.

“I believe that right now that many of our customers are extra conscious about this coin shortage going on,” Patterson said. “Many of them take the time to give us exact change which is very helpful in improving this situation.”

Interest in the national coin shortage spiked during the summer of 2020. (Julia T. ’24)

During this national coin shortage, many businesses put up visible signs in front or near their cash registers to inform customers about the issue. Patterson said that her business was not one of those.

“Putting up a sign was not exactly necessary for the grocery store because in the midst of this shortage, we did not have a problem with our change,” she said. “Since customers in our store were mainly aware and acting on the situation, the need to alert them by putting up a sign was not a necessity.”

The coin shortage has been a real struggle for some businesses. Even if some businesses were not fully affected by this crisis, this issue is still nation-wide and would have eventually become a problem.

“I am thankful that the customers of the company were already aware of the coin shortage,” Patterson said. “They were able to do the right thing and give us exact change before we even had to worry about the shortage being a problem.”