Rock County already fighting financial crisis - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Rock County already fighting financial crisis


JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- In Rock County, the financial crisis could hit hard and fast.

General Motors announced earlier this week it will close its Janesville assembly plant before the end of the year.

"It was the fear of the unknown for several months, because you just didn't know when. Then unfortunately the news came down, and it's still a shock," said Bob Carmichael, president and CEO of Blackhawk Community Credit Union.

For hundreds of GMm workers it's already a reality. They were laid off when the plant eliminated its second shift in July.

Carmichael said "We have had several members come in and we restructured some loans and helped them with their monthly out-flow of cash."

That's where financial institutions in Rock County succeed while national banks are failing.

"We're very liquid right now. And our deposits are coming in, but our loans are very slow. So we have a lot of money right now to lend to our members," explained Carmichael.

There's another bright spot for janesville residents. Retirement specialist, Chad Karl, says investors tend to discourage people from owning stock in companies they work for. That way if the company gets into financial trouble, people don't get hit on both ends.

"None of clients had any GM stock for the last I don't know how many years, five, six years. Again because we're always recommending more diversified portfolios," said Karl.

Many financial experts offer the same advice for people: don't panic.

"The people of Janesville are very resiliant and for a time period it will be rough, there's no doubt. But we will take the risk and do as much as we can. Not just helping our members through their financial times, but helping the community," said Carmichael.

Karl added, "As a community this is definitely going to motivate us to come together as a community not only with the downtown, but as a whole city. You know we'll make it through this."

In the meantime thirteen hundred workers will be laid off on December 23rd when the Janesville Assembly Plant closes. That will also affect thousands of other people who work for companies that supply the plant.

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