EAST IDAHO – Have you heard of the hashtag #getcoinmoving? It’s part of a social media campaign enacted by the U.S. Federal Reserve to put coins back into rotation.

The Federal Reserve confirmed in July that the COVID-19 pandemic had:

 Significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin. In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly and the U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees.  Federal Reserve coin orders from depository institutions have begun to increase as regions reopen, resulting in the Federal Reserve’s coin inventory being reduced to below normal levels.

To counteract the shortage of coins as the U.S. Mint got back up to full production and businesses reopened from lockdown, the Federal Reserve announced the “U.S. Coin Task Force.” Their immediate action was to start the #getcoinmoving hashtag while the Task Force came up with other ideas.

While some east Idaho businesses and banks have heard of the hashtag, they haven’t had to use it on social media posts. They’ve come up with their own creative ways of getting coin back into the local economy.

Beehive Federal Credit Union Operations Manager Crystal Lawrence says she thinks the coin shortage has affected our area “mildly,” and that they are unable to get coin from the Federal Reserve at this time. Fortunately, their coin deposit machines, originally installed as a courtesy to customers, have turned out to be integral for obtaining coins to give back out to business-owning clients.

“We put it there, not thinking there would be a coin shortage, but it has turned out to be a good benefit,” said Lawrence.

Common Cents Convenient Stores Operations Manager Mike Bendt says that while he hasn’t heard of the #getcoinmoving hashtag, the change shortage hasn’t really affected their stores. This is largely in part to their stores taking action on their own. Instead of asking customers to use “exact change only” their stores have asked their customer base to help out.

“The bottom line is, when you ask people to help out, they do. We have signs up [asking customers to bring in change] at our counters and our front doors. We’ve brought in coin counters for people that bring in buckets of change. It’s better than asking for “exact change only.”