[HALIFAX, NS] — The penny has dropped, and there’s no picking it back up.
Distribution of the one-cent Canadian coin ended Monday, signalling the end of a copper-coloured era and the beginning of rounding up or down to the nearest five-cent mark.
“There’ll probably be a little bit of confusion,” said Mike Hammoud, president of the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association.
“It’s going to be an issue for sure,” he said about the adjustment, adding it will take a few weeks before businesses run out of pennies – and consumers notice the difference.
He asked that people be patient during the transition, and understand small businesses aren’t trying to “scam” anyone out of their pennies.
“There is some meaning behind this,” Hammoud said, “The government’s going to save a few million dollars implementing this program.”
Mike Habib, owner of Jubilee Junction Convenience, said the rounding off is not going to make a difference in business “at all.”
“It’s not earth-shattering,” he said.
“It’s going to be hard on the penny-pinchers. Those are the only people it’s going to affect. But… It’s definitely going to change their lives,” Habib said.
Steve-O-Reno’s Cappucino tweeted Monday morning, “We are thrilled to say goodbye to the penny today!”
Barista Debra McDonald said staff there have been rounding transactions up or down for the past few months, saying it’s “just easier.”
“No one wants pennies for tips,” she said. “We won’t miss them at all.”
Under the suggested guidelines, transactions ending in .01 or .02 are rounded down, those ending in.03 through .07 become .05, and .08 or .09 is rounded up to 0.10.