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WEDC providing loans to businesses affected by Oshkosh Corp. layoffs

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Businesses affected by the downsizing of the Oshkosh Corporation will get the state's help to replace the military business they'll lose.  

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation says it will issue short-term loans and loan guarantees of up to a quarter-million dollars each. The agency said it was planning to begin a pilot loan program sometime after July -- but it's proceeding now, in order to help companies affected by new layoffs at the Oshkosh plant.  

That firm recently said it would lay off 760 people. It's because of a slowdown in military vehicle production, due to the ending of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Suppliers like metal fabricators and machine shops will also feel the pinch.  

WEDC leader Reed Hall says it's imperative for companies that rely on dwindling defense contracts to diversify, and explore new products and markets.  

The agency said the loan program could eventually expand to help other Wisconsin companies.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)