Denver residents spent $26 million in 2006 at payday lenders and check cashing strip mall shops, according to city Council Member at Large Doug Linkhart
. These short-term, high-interest, fee-ridden services pose a key barrier to building savings, assets and credit and destroy the possibility of maintaining personal monthly budgets. That's the recent conclusion of a task force Linkhart headed with Denver Office of Economic Development
Executive Director André Pettigrew and funded by a grant from the national Bank on Cities
campaign. Denver was one of eight cities selected to attack these problems based on a San Francisco pilot program.