SolarWorld announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with creditors that will save the company. The German-based solar power company has a manufacturing plant in Hillsboro employing around 700 people. It has been losing money because of declining prices for solar products, which company officials blame largely on unfair Chinese competition.

The agreement will allow SolarWorld to restructure its $1.6 billion debt and significantly reduce its debt. According to the announcement, “The plan will enable the company to reduce its noncurrent liabilities by approximately 60 percent.”

The agreement must still be approved at a shareholders’ meeting of SolarWorld AG.

Mercy Corps, Chamber partner up

The international relief agency Mercy Corps has been helping people start and expand small businesses around the world for years. Now the agency’s regional arm, Mercy Corps Northwest, is partnering with the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce to offer the same assistance to local small business owners — or local people interested in starting a business.

The six-week course is called Foundation I. It will cover fundamentals such as writing a cash flow, marketing, financial literacy, credit and funding options. Participants will come out of the course with a completed business plan, which is required to secure many kinds of loans and other types of financial assistance.

The $150 course consists of six sessions held at the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce on Wednesdays from June 5 to July 17, except for July 4.

For more information, contact Randhi Wilson at 503-896-5087 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Animal team wins Vision Action Network award

The Animal Protection Multi-Disciplinary Team APMDT has won the 2013 Cameron Award for Community Collaboration from Vision Action Network of Washington County.

Formed in 2010, the APMDT works to break the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. It works with the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement agencies, advocates for victims of domestic violence and animal advocates to transform the community into a more compassionate place for people and for animals.

Since 2005, the Cameron Award has been presented annually to organizations and individual that “embrace collaboration and epitomize a commitment to working across multiple sectors of the community,” said Karin Kelley-Torregroza, Vision Action Network’s executive director.

It is named after former Washington County administrator Charlie Cameron to honor his leadership.

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