Pictured on your left is one of those ubiquitous check-cashing/payday loan businesses located at Dorr Street and Westwood Avenue. It is no secret that one of the few industries thriving in Toledo is the much-maligned cash advance business, given the city's location smack dab in the middle of the American Rust Belt.
What I find interesting here - as well as with the other similar businesses - is that this company set up shop in a building that once housed a Domino's Pizza. This is a recurrent scene in Toledo, and I wonder what it bodes for the city's future when even small retail businesses cannot succeed.
I happen to know the former Domino's franchisee who operated the pizza business, and he was an ex-corporate multi-unit supervisor for the chain. It was not for lack of experience or effort that his business crashed, and this should have been a winning formula, so close to the University of Toledo.
Yes, the pizza market is competitive (I myself was a multi-unit franchisee of another chain for ten years here in Toledo), but there are quite a few fast food businesses that closed up shop only to be reoccupied by a check-cashing business. Certainly the landlords of the properties cannot be faulted for maximizing the rental value of their buildings, and despite my moral disgust with businesses that charge usurious rates of interest, they are completely within the limits of state law.
Yet my view of the future of this city darkens as I drive its streets and see that these modern-day money changers are among the few scraping a profit, and knowing that the money they make is in large measure off the backs of the poorest citizens, siphoned off to corporations headquartered far, far from Toledo.