Pico Improvement Organization Team || Closed || 787 views ||

Realizing + Reaching the Potential of Pico Boulevard Santa Monica

Our playbook is two-fold:

1) Creating a Merchant Engagement strategy for Pico Blvd, a 2.8 mile commercial district (the longest business improvement district in Santa Monica) which runs from the I-10 Freeway to the Pacific Ocean and is home to over 300 businesses.  This merchant engagement strategy will be a process that utilizes technology/software that engages the Pico merchants to participate in the Pico Improvement Organization (PIO), to assist them in attracting customers, and to benefit the revitalization of Pico Blvd's economic vitality.  Current efforts include social media, direct email outreach, local newspaper advertising, hosting merchant mixer events, participating in community events (e.g. Most Loved SM Businesses, Buy Local Festival, National Night Out), etc.

2) Utilizing technology to help our Pico Blvd merchants engage their customers and increase their sales.  Once the merchants are engaged, we will use the same process and technology/software to assist the merchants in attracting customers and sales. We are home to many multi-cultural second and third generation family-owned businesses who contribute to the unique identify of Pico Boulevard and provide much-needed services to the community.  Many of our businesses lack the time, funding or marketing sophistication to effectively engage with the community, including our 90,000 Santa Monica residents and 8.3 million annual visitors.  We also serve as a incubator for entrepreneurs in Santa Monica and look to continue to foster this role.  We serve a very diverse local community.

*We prefer to use the same process and technology/software for both components of the outreach strategy. For us, it's not about just dollars and cents on Pico Boulevard but helping to sustain the unique, multi-cultural environment we have of small businesses and services that serve as the backbone to Santa Monica. 



     Name:  Pico Improvement Organization


Organization Type and Size:

     Company/Number of Employees:  0 + 7 Board Members

     Non-profit/Number Served Annually:  300 business members

     Academic Organization/Number of Students: n/a

     Group or a Community/Number of Members:  see above

     Other Organization Type (explain):


Your Organization's Product or Service:  Business Improvement District/ Merchant Association


Your Organization's Point of Contact:

     Full Name:  David Ruiz

     E-mail address:

     Phone #:  (310) 458 -2201 x6315


Area of Business Process Improvement Your Organization Needs:  Marketing Plan, Strategic Business Support, Board Development


Other Helpful Background Information You'd Like to Provide About Your Organization:  We were established in 2000 by the City of Santa Monica and the Pico Boulevard merchants.  We are a non-profit organization governed by a 7-member Board of Directors (5 merchant members, 2 resident members).



1) The student team will focus on ONE area of business process improvement that your organization needs.  If you have not done so already, please provide the following:

  • What is the ONEspecific business area you need help with?  Merchant and Customer engagement strategy
  • What is the process you have been using in this business area? There has not been a formal process to date.  There are aspects of outreach the PIO conducts such as merchant outreach, social media, community events, website and email outreach but all without a structured plan….this is where we greatly need help!
  • What is your expectation of the level of improvement that can be achieved in one semester?  To create a process through technology/software that engages the merchants to participate in a process that will help them engage customers

2) What is your experience with business process improvement?   We have a social media/event marketing partner but no strategic business consultant.

  • Have you had anyone advise or consult with you in this regard?  If so, what were the results? No
  • How willing are you to consider creative business process redesigns? 100% open – we’re very willing!
  • How willing are you to consider use of software as a service (online software) to enable process improvement? Sure, our only limitation is cost/budget, if required.

3) Where is your organization currently operating from?  Your address is preferred, but a a general area is acceptable (like DTLA, West side, Hollywood, etc)  Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica (the mailing address is PIO, 3019 Pico Blvd #4, Santa Monica, CA  90405)

4) Are you willing to participate in physical meetings (i.e. JoinIN Huddles) with students on USC campus?   Yes we’re willing.  We would just need more information on the time/location so we can schedule. 

  • If so, are you available on January 30th and April 26th to JoinIN the USC class (2 hours each)?  These are two key dates for program launch and program final presentations.  Yes, please just let us know the time.
  • There will be up to two additional Huddles (in February and March).  Are you willing to attend up to two additional meetings (TBD dates, 2 hours each)? Yes.  We would like to also involve our Pico Blvd merchants.  The subject matter and time of day would be important information to know for scheduling.

5) How do you think you and your organization can benefit the USC students?   It would give them exposure to business improvement districts (ours is one of the biggest in LA!).  Pico Blvd offers students great exposure to a diverse range of local, independent businesses and also offers the students a chance to work with the community and city of Santa Monica.  This will expose them to BID financial and tax money at work and meaningful civic engagement.

  • Can you commit to providing a rating of the project outcome? Yes
  • Can you commit to individual rating of the students assigned to your organization?  Yes
  • Can the students assigned to your organization list you as a reference in their future job search?  Yes


business dev

Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

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