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Hamilton’s payday lenders decline from 30 to 28, a year after city council’s licensing crackdown

Global News logo Global News 2019-02-19 Ken Mann
a group of people walking in front of a store: The number of payday loan stores has dropped from 30 to 28, in the year since Hamilton city council took aim at their numbers by approving a business licensing bylaw.© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives The number of payday loan stores has dropped from 30 to 28, in the year since Hamilton city council took aim at their numbers by approving a business licensing bylaw.

There's been a small reduction in the number of payday loan businesses in Hamilton.

A report presented to the city's planning committee on Tuesday morning shows 28 outlets were licensed on Jan. 1, 2019, compared with 30 on Jan. 1, 2018.

READ MORE: Hamilton looks to cap number of payday loan outlets

The payday loan stores that closed were on Locke Street and King Street East.

A licensing bylaw was approved by Hamilton city council last February which will eventually limit the number of payday loan stores to 15, or one per ward.

READ MORE: Hamilton politicians finalize payday loan crackdown

Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla has said that the idea is to reduce access to what he terms a "predatory industry" that preys on vulnerable residents who have nowhere else to turn during a financial crisis and fall further into debt because of the high-interest rates and fees.

The number of outlets is expected to continue dropping over time as licences expire and are not renewed.

READ MORE: Toronto latest Canadian city to crackdown on payday loan outlets

Payday loan stores in Hamilton are generally concentrated downtown, in the east end and along a section of Upper James Street.

a close up of a map© Provided by Corus Media Holdings, Inc.
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