CoCo’s Bistro co-owner Corry Oerlemans holds out pennies he will soon have to give back to the bank.

CoCo’s Bistro co-owner Corry Oerlemans holds out pennies he will soon have to give back to the bank.

Princeton says farewell to penny

Princeton business owners tell the good and bad of the copper coin.

The penny will start to disappear from Canadians’ pockets around six months from now, the government announced in its new budget.

Businesses will be asked to return pennies to banks beginning this fall, but the copper coin will retain its value indefinitely.

However, pennies will only be allowed for payment in 25-cent bunches.

CoCo’s Bistro co-owner Barbara Bushewsky doesn’t mind pennies because it allows her to give exact change back to her customers.

“Pennies aren’t a hassle. They come in handy all the time,” she said.

The government is recommending businesses round down to 0 or 5 if the price ends in a one, two, six, or seven.

And in the price ends in a three, four, eight or nine, it should be rounded up.

“People like to get exact change back, so this will be different for them,” said Bushewsky.

The elimination of the penny – which costs 1.6 cents to make – is  one part of the government’s new budget, which also includes a 10 per cent cut to CBC, an increase on the duty-free allowance for cross-border shoppers and a rise of old age security eligibility from 65 to 67.

It costs about $11 million to supply pennies to Canada. More than 486 million were made in Canada in 2010.

“They’re a pain,” said Everything Pets owner Keith Olsen, who is happy to hear the penny will slowly become a thing of the past.

He wants to donate any extra money he makes from rounding-up to charity.

Bushewsky is also thinking of holding a penny-drive to support a charity.

But how do non-business owners in Princeton feel about the penny disappearing?

“I save all my pennies for charity in a big bag and send them in once a year,” said Dave Fither.

“But it will be nice not having all that extra weight in my pocket.”