Monthly Reporting

Submitting monthly economic impact reports to the Office of Downtown Development will be one of the most important responsibilities asked of you as a Main Street Manager.  In Georgia, monthly reporting is required for all Main Street Georgia communities, regardless of your community’s individual designation. Each Main Street program will have 30 days from the last day of the month to submit their previous month’s report. The easiest way to think of it is that we are always reporting a month behind, because you can’t report on something that hasn’t happened. For example, January’s report is due in February, and February’s report is due in March. Any report submitted after 30 days will be considered late.

But why is reporting important? Monthly reports allow us to capture and economic snapshot of what is happening at this particular moment in time in your community. As a stand alone report it doesn’t tell us much, but when we compile months or even years worth of data together we can begin to see trends in business development, job growth, private and public investment. These reports can help us as an office see where the communities priorities lie and identify gaps in funding or resources.

If you have questions regarding any of the information submitted, or if you need to adjust your information please reach out to Ellen Hill at and she will be happy to assist you.

We know that Monthly Reporting can be complicated work, we also know that everyone has different learning styles. It is for this reason we have developed two resources to help guide you through the monthly reporting process. The below video will walk you through how to complete the monthly reports, step by step, using a pre-recorded webinar.


For those who feel more comfortable learning through reading we have developed a Monthly Community Activity Report Guide that will take you step by step through the reporting process but can be read instead of watched. There is also a copy of this document available for download using the link below.

While this handbook was created to help new Main Street Manager’s transition into their role, the resources identified in this document are relative to any Main Street Manager or Board Member regardless of their experience level. In this handbook you will find a breakdown of the Main Street Approach, an overview of benefits and requirements for accredited Georgia Main Street cities, a guide to financial resources, tax credit programs and grants along with a chapter dedicated to guiding managers through the strategic planning process.

Chapter 1- National Main Street Program
Chapter 2- Georgia Main Street Program
Chapter 3- Standards and Requirements
Chapter 4- Organizational Structure
Chapter 5- Strategic Planning
Chapter 6- Funding Opportunities
Chapter 7- Historic Preservation Tax Credits and Grants

One of the challenges you will have as a new Main Street manager is understanding the day-to-day responsibilities of your position. With so many things to tackle, it is tough to know where to start. Here at the Office of Downtown Development our ultimate goal is your success at the local level. We have created an activities check list you can use to ensure that you and your program remain on track as the year progresses. The tasks identified here are primarily for communities at the Classic Main Street Program level, but these practices are beneficial to any city wishing to embrace a positive preservation ethic.

Strategic planning is the process of documenting and establishing a direction for your organization—by assessing both where you are and where you want to go. The strategic planning process gives Main Street program’s a place to record the mission, vision, and values, as well as long-term goals and action plans used to reach them. While the Main Street Four Point Approach plays an important role in the development of your program’s strategic plan it cannot be the sole building block upon which downtown’s recovery is built. Downtown development must be strategic, incremental, measurable and above all else, community driven. The Office of Downtown Development understands the challenges of rallying a community to support a cause that lacks an organized vision. A cohesive purpose can serve as a catalyst to focus your city’s efforts around a common unifying theme. This is where Community Transformation Strategies come in to play.

Community Transformation Strategies Workbook

This workbook was created by the Georgia Main Street Program as a resource to assist local Main Street managers and board members in identifying, selecting and implementing a transformation strategy for the downtown district. While the National Main Street Center has developed 21 “off the shelf ” Catalyst Strategies based on either a specific customer segment or industry/product, the Georgia Main Street Program has worked to develop 15 Strategies which we believe more broadly represent the needs in our local communities and the challenges we have seen directly impacting our Main Street Programs. While the Georgia Main Street Program’s Catalyst Strategies are thematic in nature, this particular element allows them to be suitable for communities of all sizes. These unifying themes may be adopted and applied more broadly across multiple retail sectors, industries and customers segments, serving both rural and urban communities alike.

From gathering data and hosting a community visioning session to selecting your strategy and measuring your impact this workbook has resources, examples and the necessary tools needed to guide you from start to finish through the entire strategic planning process.

A Guide to Hosting a Community Visioning Session

A community visioning session provides the local Main Street program an opportunity to invite a diverse and varied representation of the public to contribute ideas, recommendations, and resources to the vision, which will ultimately shape downtown. While the size and scope of the community visioning session will vary from town to town, the purpose it plays in work plan development remains the same. The ideas expressed in this guide will serve as a framework for the manager, the board of directors, and the downtown’s strategic plan for years to come. When done correctly it can encourage citizen buy-in and support, grow stakeholder engagement, and leverage financial resources. On the following pages we have outlined a step-by-step guide to planning your community’s visioning session keeping in mind that a visioning session should serve solely as an opportunity to listen and to gauge involvement. This is one of the first steps in a multi-step process that will shape your Main Street program’s strategic plan.

Work Plans

It is important for new managers to keep in mind that all designated Georgia Main Street Programs are required to have a work plan on file with the Office of Downtown Development. Work plans serve as an important tool to help guide the projects and scope of work for the Main Street program. A well developed work plan should help you focus on what’s important, measure your impact, and create accountability. So much of what happens to revitalize a downtown district originates from this planning process. Having a well developed, shared work plan with public buy-in, can help to grow city support and solidify the role the Main Street Program plays in downtown development. Below is an example of how a completed Main Street program work plan should look.

For a blank copy of the available work plan template please click on the download button below.

Training is essential to your success as a Main Street manager. A wide variety of training opportunities is provided by our office and by partners throughout the state. New managers are required to participate in a minimum of 30 hours of training annually. We highly recommend that you seek out workshops, webinars and professional development opportunities that provide you with an in-depth learning experience in topics and concepts that may be less familiar. All new Main Street managers and board members are required to become Main Street 101 certified within the first 12 months of taking their position.

Main Street 101 
Main Street 101 has been re-imagined as a completely online, interactive experience, designed to walk you through the Main Street 4-Point Approach™ from start to finish. Utilizing Prezi, a presentation software that uses motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to relay information, this interactive guide was developed by the Georgia Main Street Program staff and is a complimentary resource available to all Georgia cities. Here the fundamentals of the Main Street program have been broken down into a four-part series providing videos, links and visual resources to help you better retain the information presented. While Main Street 101 has been designed with Main Street managers and board members in mind, the content provided is beneficial to anyone that may interact with the program and can assist them in understanding the purpose and roll of the Main Street Approach. Click here to be directed to Main Street 101.

Main Street 101 Certification
All new Main Street Managers and Board Members are required to become Main Street 101 certified within the first 12 months of their new position. The certification exam is offered exclusively online through the Georgia Main Street website and costs $75 to access. Test takers will have up to one hour to complete the exam and must pass with a score of 80% or greater in order to receive a digital certificate indicating completion. Exam questions are true/false and multiple choice. Questions are based on the interactive guide, videos and study materials provided on the website. A copy of each test taker’s completion certificate should be shared with the local Main Street Manager and a copy uploaded to Dropbox as part of the annual assessment process.
Click here to be directed to the Main Street 101 certification exam. 

Board Training and Education
A well-educated and informed board makes the job of downtown revitalization much easier. Having board members that are familiar with the Main Street Approach ensures that the manager and board are working together and provides the manager time to implement the annual work plan. With that in mind, the Office of Downtown Development requires all new board members to receive their Main Street 101 certification within the first 12 months of appointment to the board.

Main Street Training Calendar

The Georgia Main Street Program offers an online training calendar to highlight upcoming training opportunities from both our office and our partners, check out the screenshot below to see how you can access the training calendar from our website.