FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The nationwide coin shortage has raised concerns for many businesses throughout the country— especially laundromats, which arguably rely on coins more than anyone.
So far laundromats haven’t had issues providing their customers with coins because they recycle the quarters customers put into their laundry machines. However, with banks and supermarkets not giving out change, people have been flocking to the laundromats just to get change and leave without doing any laundry.
“They can’t get change from the bank so somebody figured out to go to the laundromat for it,” said Tracy Hyder, the owner of White Swan Dry Cleaning & Laundromat. “So I will be experiencing the effects of the shortage if this keeps going, absolutely.”
Hyder said she’s not the only one having this problem.
“I have a guy that I do business with that has four other laundromats up north and he said he only has a enough coins at this rate to last him a few more weeks,” said Hyder.
Yared Tekle, the manager at SpyRun Laundry, said he’s noticed people coming into his laundromat just to get change as well, so he’s having his employees monitor it.
“We had two people try yesterday,” said Tekle. “Our store is attended so we watch that the people getting coins are only using them in here so we don’t give them out.”
The alternative to having laundry machines that require coins would be switching to machines that take tokens or accept cards. Both Hyder and Tekle said that would be a huge financial burden, though.
“We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars,” said Hyder.
Tekle agreed, estimating it would cost between $40,000 and $50,000.
Hyder said the coin shortage isn’t the only way COVID-19 has affected her business. With events like the Allen County Fair and Three Rivers Festival being canceled, she hasn’t had big groups of people come in like usual.
“That’s huge revenue to me when those things come to town,” Hyder said. “The trickle down effect that COVID has had is amazing to me.”