The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization has announced the creation of an online platform for Pike businesses to communicate with each other regarding a variety of topics including collaborations, recommendations, and safety.

The platform is currently only available for CPRO business members, but the organization hopes to expand the service to be available for all Pike businesses. Business members can expect to receive an email invitation to join the group in the next few days.

The idea had been percolating among CPRO staff and board members for a while, initially as a way for CPRO itself to communicate more efficiently with the business community at large. As the business community has grown and expressed an eagerness to collaborate, the organization believed providing a direct communication platform was best.

“It is always a great feeling seeing Pike businesses working together,” says Executive Director Kim Klingler. “I loved grabbing my Idido’s coffee at the EvolveAll grand opening or having a slice of Acme Pie at Idido’s.”

One of CPRO’s primary functions is to serve as an informational hub for both residents and businesses. The organization often provides guidance to businesses in navigating the Form Based Code, County permitting, reaching residents, and more.

“We often receive very similar questions and feedback from the businesses on the Pike,” says Program Director, Stephen Gregory Smith. “Most often, we put businesses in touch with each other that have successfully navigated the issue we’re being asked about. So why not let them talk to each other directly?”

CPRO will utilize a online platform called that acts similarly to many other group chats such as Google or Yahoo Groups, but with a few extra bells and whistles. Group members will have access to a shared calendar where they can post their events, conduct polls to ask their fellow business owners to weigh in on decisions, chat with an individual member in addition to the group as a whole, or send messages to subgroups, such as just other restaurants or nonprofits.