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This article was published 3/1/2013 (1362 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The end of the penny is a nuisance that will cause confusion, one city retailer says.
There's just over 30 days until the Royal Canadian Mint stops distributing the coin on Feb. 4, 2013.
Ignazio Scaletta, owner of Goodies Bake Shop and Gelati on Ellice Avenue, said the end of the penny is a "big mistake."
On Feb. 4, the mint says "businesses will be encouraged to begin rounding cash transactions."
"Why do we have to change it?... What's the purpose?," said Scaletta.
"Either we are out or the clients are out."
A release by the mint said scrapping the penny will save $11 million per year. The mint manufactures coins, including the penny, in Winnipeg.
The change won't affect transactions made with cheques or electronically.
"As pennies exit circulation, cash payments or transactions only will need to be rounded, either up or down, to the nearest five-cent increment," said the release.
For other city merchants, the move is no big deal. The final amount of a cash transaction is what should be rounded, said the mint, not each item.
"Some people expect their pennies back. Most people that I've encountered in my store don't even acknowledge if I've given them the penny or not," said Gus Tasse, manager of Bargains Galore on Selkirk Avenue. When he runs out of pennies, he said "no one really cares," and people have even offered to give him extras.
Darlene Appleyard, an owner of A Buck or Two in Portage Place Shopping Centre, said she thinks the change will impact her business and challenge the pricing structure.
"I think it will just affect us more in how we address the logistics of our pricing," said Appleyard.
Janine Carmichael, the Manitoba director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said she hasn't received any irate calls from any of the 4,800 members in the province.
She said, to her understanding, businesses are not required to take pennies.
"We have not heard a lot of concerns from our members about it," she said.
"The key thing is that there's been a lot of notice to make these changes, there have been some good resources to help explain what rounding looks like, what their responsibilities are.
"So that's the key piece for business owners, to get prepared."