Insight Center: News

Israel Business Activity Pumps an Estimated $1.6 Billion into Greater Philadelphia


Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce Releases Results from Study Measuring Israeli Influence on Local Economy

Pepper Hamilton Sponsors Study that Aids Understanding of Foreign Business Development Opportunities for our Region, which Israeli Companies have Ranked 3rd in Attractiveness

Blair Kahora Cardinal

Debbie Buchwald
Executive Director, PICC

Philadelphia, PA (January 29, 2013) — A new study of Israeli business activity in Greater Philadelphia revealed an impact of $1.6 billion on the local economy and the creation of thousands of jobs. However, while the region ranked third in attractiveness to Israeli companies, it fell to sixth in its efforts to attract Israeli businesses.

The study was commissioned by the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (PICC) and was sponsored by Pepper Hamilton LLP. Temple University’s Fox School of Business Enterprise Management Consulting Program prepared the study, which identifies the key drivers of the Philadelphia-Israel business relationship.

Study results include:

  • imports, tourism and academic activity are the major income producers
    • $719 million from company operations
    • $848 million from imports
    • $47 million from tourism
    • $6.5 million from academic activity
  • 2,175 to 2,565 jobs are directly created
  • 6,090 to 7,180 jobs are indirectly created
  • most jobs created are in the pharmaceuticals, medical device and high tech sectors.
Findings will be released at the PICC Annual Members Reception on January 29, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at DiBrunos Upstairs (1730 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103).

Attracting Israeli companies to the region is significant because Israel is a major player in the global business world, especially in the technology sector. Most Israeli companies launch a U.S. presence. With the highest number of startups per capita of any nation in the world and massive venture capital investment, Israel is one of the world's entrepreneurship hubs.

Former PICC president and Pepper Hamilton partner Ben Strauss, who has counseled hundreds of Israel-based companies on U.S. business law matters, said, “Pepper Hamilton was pleased to be able to support such a study, which is an important step in promoting a stronger economic relationship between Greater Philadelphia and the Israeli business community. We know we’re a great region for Israel-based companies, but we need to make sure they know it.”

Beth Cohen, PICC President, noted that, “Documenting the impact of Israel on the regional economy will help our community come together to better attract Israeli companies, including the involvement of industry, government and private capital resources. The potential economic benefit to our region is significant.”

The study also examined Greater Philadelphia’s attractiveness to Israeli business and the region’s efforts to recruit new companies. Among eight regions known for strong Israeli business relations (Philadelphia, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York City, Silicon Valley and the state of Ohio), Philadelphia ranked third in attractiveness to Israeli companies, but only sixth in its efforts to attract Israeli businesses. Philadelphia also ranked sixth overall in its strategic advantages over other cities, but outperformed this ranking in location and infrastructure and skilled labor. Philadelphia also ranked last in terms of venture capital dollars invested in 2011.

Based on these findings, the study made recommendations aimed at raising Philadelphia’s profile in Israel which include: re-branding the region based on a point-by-point differentiation strategy; attracting more outside investment for regional companies; focusing on meeting the needs of smaller Israeli companies where the greatest opportunities lie; investigating academic collaborations further and retaining tourists who pass through, but don’t stay, in Philadelphia.

About Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton LLP is a multi-practice law firm with more than 500 lawyers nationally. The firm provides corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation and the world. The firm was founded in 1890.

About Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce

The Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (PICC), PA, NJ, and DE, established in 1987, is an independent, member-based, not-for-profit network of business professionals who share an interest in furthering business relationships among each other and between the Greater Philadelphia Region and Israel. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, and we serve constituents in Southeastern PA, the Lehigh Valley, Southern New Jersey, Delaware and Israel.