New program sets sights on bringing POP to Radford storefronts


Heather Bell

RADFORD – Organizers of a new public-private partnership are hoping to bring some POP to Radford businesses and beautify the city’s business districts.

Photo by Heather Bell
New planters that are part of the Radford Economic Development Authority’s new POP! (Paint, Optimize and Plant) program are recently unveiled to members of Radford City Council.

Radford POP! is a new matching-grant program, the purpose of which is to encourage local business and commercial property owners to put money into new awnings, painting and other enhancements by offering to match the dollars spent.

“Created by the Radford Economic Development Authority, sponsored by First NRV Federal Credit Union, and in partnership with community organization GO! Radford, Radford POP! wants to give business owners a well-earned boost towards putting their best foot forward,” states information released by Go! Radford.

“POP,” stands for Paint, Optimize, and Plant.

“Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint (Paint), maybe a new awning or sign (Optimize), some vibrant planters (Plant), or even that repair you’ve been meaning to get around to, Radford POP! wants to help our hard-working business owners complete the little touches that can add up to huge changes in Radford’s business districts,” states the informational release.

EDA board member Paul Pallante, also a downtown business owner and GO! Radford member, recently addressed Radford City Council about the POP! program, unveiling the new planters that are a part of the effort. Business owners can pay half the cost of the planter and the POP! program will cover the rest, including flowering annuals to beautify storefronts.

“These little differences can make a big impact,” Pallante, owner of the Radford Theater, said in his presentation.

“The Radford POP! program is helping you put your best foot forward by matching your investment dollar for dollar on painting, signage, awning, and planter installation projects,” stated program organizers.

“Radford POP! is a revitalization program designed to encourage local business owners to invest their hard-earned dollars into improving the look of their storefronts by matching that investment dollar for dollar up to a maximum amount of $2,000,” reads the program description. “The program is rooted in the concept that small improvements can make a big difference. We’ll even try to match your project with volunteer networks to lend a hand and help those dollars stretch even further.”

Interested parties need to submit a project application to the Radford EDA for review. There is no minimum dollar amount for an application.

“The grant pool is limited and first come first served, so when funds are gone, they’re gone,” reads the information.

For more info about how to apply, email