Latest News from Seifel Consulting Inc.


How do communities highlight their best assets to attract and retain business? A key first step is the identification of the community’s core strengths and their competitive advantages in relationship to how businesses decide where to locate.

A second critical component to economic development is developing a "customer centric" orientation that emphasizes better communication and rapport with business owners and their representatives.

A second critical component to economic development is developing a "customer centric" orientation that emphasizes better communication and rapport with business owners and their representatives.

At the League of California Cities’ Annual Conference, held September 19, Libby Seifel facilitated the lively workshop discussion “Economic Development: Spotlighting Assets in Your Community to Attract & Retain New Business". Fellow panelists included Robert Gilmore, Land Use and Economic Development Consultant with MuniServices, and Damian McKinney, Founder & CEO of The McKinney Advisory Group. Joining Libby, Rob, and Damian were elected officials and city staff.

The basics of hospitality can be a key ingredient to attracting new jobs, as Damian McKinney explains. Sharing a personal experience, Damian tells the story of a homemade dinner at the house of Town’s Mayor, of how a relaxed and supportive environment led to honest and insightful conversation on Town growth opportunities, and how this eventually led to the development of a major business in town.

Rob Gilmore noted how communities need a proactive economic development strategy that includes a focused work plan with prioritized action steps to be done on a quarterly and annual basis. Audience members also shared “best practice” experience from their own communities, including examples of how they help communities work together to establish a shared vision, conducting workshops with local business community members to identify actions steps, and developing key metrics to measure success.

The word 'hospitality' in the New Testament comes from two Greek words. The first word means 'love' and the second word means 'strangers.' It's a word that means love of strangers. - Nancy Leigh DeMoss


In 2013, the Bay Area’s nine counties completed a regional plan called Plan Bay Area that aligns with California’s 2008 state land use and climate change laws (SB  375). SPUR has long advocated for a regional plan and provided key input throughout the Plan Bay Area adoption process, conducting related analyses on how to promote better regional planning and build a stronger Bay Area economy. Highlights of SPUR’s contributions include:

The economic challenges to building a strong regional economy is compounded by the reality that middle-income jobs in the Bay Area are becoming scarcer as more and more job growth takes place at the high and low ends of the wage spectrum. SPUR is collaborating with a group of partners to help expand economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income Bay Area residents through its work on the Economic Prosperity Strategy, a key initiative of One Bay Area.

For the 2013 Index of Silicon Valley, SPUR wrote a special analysis on the economic benefits of governing the Bay Area as if it were a single economic region. The analysis focused on issues are difficult to address at the local level (limited housing production, fragmented transit delivery systems, job sprawl, fiscal inequities and climate change) and recommended potential strategies to address them.

As the Bay Area economy began to improve, SPUR reported in its publication The Urban Future of Work that knowledge sector firms are embracing the benefits of urbanism and relocating to San Francisco and other transit accessible Bay Area cities because these companies recognize the locational advantages of being close to suppliers, collaborators, and urban amenities desired by their employees.

SPUR’s Regional Policy Board advises on SPUR’s regional planning endeavors and Libby Seifel chairs this Board for SPUR.