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City limiting number, location of payday loan shops

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Sarnia has imposed new rules on payday loan companies.

The regulations allow the shops to operate only in major commercial areas, away from schools and gambling establishments, and no closer than 500 metres from each other.

The number of payday loan stores is capped at seven. All nine current operators are “grandfathered” in and can stay, provided they buy an annual licence.

No new shops will be allowed until the total number drops below seven.

Payday lenders typically offer loans at much higher interest rates than banks.

They joined strip clubs last year as the only businesses municipalities can regulate under the Ontario Municipal Act.


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