BizFeed: Philadelphia’s $26 Billion Export Business Among Best in U.S.

Plus: The data breach that affected 7 percent of Americans; Google's answer to Uber.

(weerasak saeku/Shutterstock)

(weerasak saeku/Shutterstock)

1. Philly’s Exporting Game is Strong

The News: The Philadelphia region ranked 11th in the United States for exports, according to a new study from the International Trade Administration’s 2014 Metropolitan Area Export Overview. In fact, the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area reached a record $26.3 billion in exports last year. The region’s exports increased by $1.4 billion, or 5.6 percent, from 2013 to 2014.

“More and more, U.S. businesses understand that 96 percent of their potential customers live outside the United States, and that selling their world-class goods in the global marketplace is critical to their bottom line,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a statement.

Why It Matters: It’s even more proof that Philadelphia has a wide-ranging, growing economy. Key merchandise export categories included chemicals, computer and electronic products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products, and machinery. Leading destinations were Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

2. Data Breach Affects 21.5 Million People

The News: Approximately 21.5 million Americans (7 percent of the population) was affected by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management data breach. The breach affected “social security numbers for current and former federal workers, contractors, friends, and families,” said Fortune.

Why It Matters: With this breach (which wasn’t discovered for a year!) as well as computer glitches at United Airlines, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Stock Exchange, people are understandably worried about cyberterrorism. It’s an area that businesses have overlooked for far too long, and should be top-of-mind.

3. Google Testing Out Ride-Sharing Service in Israel

The News: First Uber and Lyft. Now Google? The tech giant is testing out a ride-sharing system in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Wall Street Journal explains: “The service, which went live on Monday afternoon, is being offered through the navigation app Waze, which Google bought in 2013 for about $1 billion, and through another app called RideWith — a new app offered to passengers who are not Waze users.”

Why It Matters: Whenever Google enters a market, it has the possibility of disrupting it. But Google is playing coy. “Google was careful to say that its carpooling test in Israel is not a competitive play against Uber,” the WSJ explained. ” ‘RideWith is an experiment in the Tel Aviv area that doesn’t compete with Uber: it’s a platform built to enable local drivers to help each other during busy commute hours,’ a spokesman for Google said in an email.”