The House Commerce and Small Business Committee carried over legislation requiring retail businesses to accept cash when offered by a consumer, and the bill never resurfaced. HB28 by Rep. Debbie Wood, R-Valley, would have allowed retailers to refuse to accept any denomination larger than a $20 bill. Another provision would have required retailers experiencing a cash or coin shortage to provide a store credit or gift card to a customer if the retailer was unable to give them exact change.
During a March 3 public hearing, the Alabama Retail Association, the Alabama Grocers Association, the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association, the Alabama chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business and the Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama, all testified against the bill.
“Personally, I don’t know of any retailer who doesn’t accept cash,” Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said. Brown and others pointed out that for a brief period in the summer, the nation experienced a coin circulation issue related to the coronavirus. Consumers stayed home and were not spending their loose change, plus drive-thru-only banking meant businesses couldn’t buy coins from the banks as they regularly do. As COVID restrictions eased and virus cases declined, coins began to circulate more freely.
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