CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A coin shortage has swept the nation, causing businesses and consumers to literally count their pennies.
Locally, many laundry businesses have felt the effects.
Especially owners at Bay Area Laundry, where all three locations have seen changes just in the past few months.
"Just seemed like as time went on, we were keeping an eye on it," said co-owner Connie Jones, "and we did start losing coins in our laundromat."
Jones has been a part of the laundromat business for nearly 30 years. She said in the time she's been in this industry, she's never seen a coin shortage.
But when Bay Area Laundry started losing coins, even the banks were having a hard time keeping up.
"Having to go to the bank, multiple banks, several days a week just in order to keep our customers supplied with what they needed," Jones said.
Bay Area owners also learned that other businesses like gas stations and other neighboring merchants would also use their quarter machine to get what they needed.
"It didn’t really bother us because we usually have plenty of quarters anyway," Jones said. "But, it does make it more difficult if other people come and take them outside the building."
As a laundromat that relies solely on quarters and not card, keeping up with the demand was getting to be difficult. So, owners learned to become a bit creative.
"We did put a limit on ours that you could only put a $20 bill in - and it won’t dispense another $20 for a certain amount of time," she said.
Jones said for now, her business is able to make do with this system. Customers are still coming in and business has not slowed down due to the pandemic.
However, if the shortage continues to worsen, the business may have to find other remedies.
"Possibly going to a token system, or, something else," she said. "But we’re just gonna hope that we’ll get through this and not have to make any major changes."