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City eyes limiting number of payday loan shops

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Sarnia is looking at ways to limit the number of payday loan shops in the city.

A staff report requested by Mayor Mike Bradley and approved by council will look at bylaw changes to prohibit new payday lenders from opening.

Existing businesses wouldn’t be impacted, but as existing shops closed, the overall number would decline.

The mayor cited reports of low-income people who can’t get credit at a bank paying extremely high interest rates to payday lenders, becoming caught in a vicious cycle of debt, and going bankrupt.

Ontario gave municipalities the power to regulate the density and location of payday loan shops last year.

There are currently at least 10 shops operating in Sarnia.

The staff report is expected in December.

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