Could payday loan outlets on Dunlop St. be operating on borrowed time?

Paying off new payday loan establishments that are located near the Barrie’s Dunlop Street  both to the east and west  are on the city councillors’ agendas on Monday night.

Coun. Sergio Morales has an item-for-discussion motion that is scheduled to be discussed at the next council meeting. city staff should report back on the ban on payday lending establishments on Dunlop Street when the city’s revised zoning bylaw is handed to Barrie councilors for discussion redirect to https://ipass.net/.

“The emphasis is on limiting the project to… getting allowed to expand into spaces that face Dunlop Street. They are not being restricted from the downtown central area,” Morales said. “Some people are of… moral objection to them. Other people believe that they ought to be controlled for instance, in relation to the interest rate, or simply banned by either the provincial or federal government. It’s a different issue.”

Councillor for Ward 9 states there are a few payday loan firms on Dunlop Street, so this is the best time to stop the number of payday loan companies.

Businesses as well as landlords and tenants face a lot of difficulty opening or operating, or even doing the business of them (payday loans) located along the main strip,” Morales said of Dunlop Street.

“My intention isn’t to stop them from being present in the first place, but… particularly as the west end develops and attempts to break from COVID, my intent of the motion is to to facilitate it and to try to create a vital mass at the west with a mixture of businesses, much the same way that the east side in downtown Barrie has done,” he added.

Coun. Keenan Aylwin, who is the representative for the downtown area, has said that he’ll propose modifications to Morales Motion on Monday.

“I believe the motion is sufficiently comprehensive and am planning at introducing an amendment,” Aylwin said. “I think we should examine the possibility of the issue of limiting payday loan establishments throughout the city, particularly the downtown. These companies are a target for vulnerable people who are often entangled in a vicious cycle of debt, by imposing excessive rates of interest.

“These companies that are considered to be predatory are typically concentrated in low-income neighborhoods,” he added. “The province gave municipalities the ability to ban payday loan businesses in the year 2018. It’s now time for Barrie to think about the way these businesses affect the people of our community.”

Morales states that the restrictions could be implemented via zoning, and city regulations, whichever is the most efficient. He added that there is no any pressure from downtown merchants for this, and it’s not tied to the Downtown BIA, an organization which is his chair.

“I believe that all of us are hearing about the need to create crucial mass at the west side” in Dunlop Street, Morales said that the street extends to just past Barrie Fire Station No. 1. “There’s simply not enough critical mass in an appropriate mix of companies to provide people with a reason to travel to the west end , and remain in the west end.

“This is just one small issue in the direction of the government,” he added.

There is one establishment that is operational and faces Dunlop Pay2Day located in 779 Dunlop St. W. One employee at the establishment told BarrieToday that the manager was away on vacation and they were not permitted to speak to the manager.

However, Manjeet Virk, assistant manager of the Cash ‘UR’ check located at 5 Clapperton St., close to Five Points, said Five Points, said any restrictions to the sector would harm businesses particularly given the potential effects from the pandemic.

“It’s going to cause problems lots of problems,” the man said. “These firms are at a high risk. If they’re to be limited and regulated, there’ll be many costs.”

Virk spoke of marketing, advertising and infrastructure.

“It isn’t a matter of whether it’s a payday company and a cafe, each company is in trouble,” he said.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is an arm that is part of the Federal government defines payday loans as quick-term loan with high-cost charges that make it an expensive method to borrow money. The maximum amount you can borrow is $1500, but you need to pay back the loan on your next paycheck according to the agency. You’re given up to 72 days to repay the loan to the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Payday loans are intended to pay for a shortfall in cash up to your next paycheck, or for a brief period as the agency states. The loans should not be used to cover ongoing expenses like utilities, food or rent bills.

Privately-owned companies provide payday loans in retail stores as well as on the internet.

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