Shelli Margolin-Mayer was brought on as Hermosa Beach’s first economic development officer in March. Photo courtesy of Shelli Margolin-Mayer.
For the first time in its 100-plus years, the city of Hermosa Beach now has an economic development officer. Shelli Margolin-Mayer was brought on in March to help the city cultivate economic growth and encourage businesses to come here. Margolin-Mayer brings 17 years of economic development experience to the position.
Q: Why did the city decide now was a good time to hire its first economic development officer?
A: It was a response to the issue with oil and the city having to pay out so much money for the settlement agreement. So they were looking at if oil doesn’t pass, how are they going to continue funding the city services? Several people for years have also been asking the city to hire an economic development officer. Because of the economy and loss in city revenues everything just came to a head and the city said, “It’s time.”
Q: Coming up, what will be the biggest economic change for Hermosa Beach?
A: Being business friendly, to start. I’m working now with staff going through processes to make things more efficient and customer oriented. The city hasn’t looked at its services from the businesses’ perspective.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Hermosa Beach?
A: How engaged the community is. Besides the physical amenities of the beach lifestyle, we have a really engaged community and active community members. That’s my favorite thing, to be able to work one on one with people.
Q: Hermosa Beach has a party reputation that many residents want to get away from. At the same time bars are businesses that bring in revenue for the city. What are your thoughts on that?
A: We have very few bars, they’re all restaurants. So we have restaurants that are acting like bars. We have a lot of restaurants that have drinking and dancing and serve a little food. We would like to switch that to restaurants that serve food and have a little drinking and dancing.
Q: Do you have a favorite business in Hermosa Beach yet?
A: My favorite is the Comedy & Magic Club. It’s the biggest unrecognized asset in the South Bay. No one knows about it. I look for comedy clubs and I knew nothing about it until I started here. The quality of acts that are there, you can’t find that anywhere else except maybe in Hollywood. I would say look forward to more promotions from them. They’re an asset to the city.