Kitchener has changed the rules surrounding payday loan businesses.

The Business Licensing Bylaw has been amended to limit the number of establishments that can be set up in the city.

The maximum number of allowed payday businesses will be 10 citywide, with no more than two establishments in a single ward.

There are currently 18 payday loan stores currently operating in Kitchener.

The city says they will be allowed to renew their licenses on an annual basis as long as they remain in the same location and continue to follow municipal, provincial and federal legislation.

A city staff report stated that the goal was “not to prohibit these businesses but rather to find a balance between protecting consumers and allowing these businesses to operate for those who need them.”

The report also states that during public consultations there was overwhelming support for limiting or banning the businesses, but they also heard that there are people in the community who do not have access to traditional banking or other lending institutions.

City council is also proposing new licensing fees for payday loan businesses.

The old fee was $125, but will now rise to $575.

License renewal fees will be capped at $375.

The city says those fees were was calculated by reviewing similar fee structures in Hamilton, Toronto and London.

The expected revenues for the first year will be $10,350 and an additional $6,750 in subsequent years.