Quarterly Reporting


Details on quarterly reporting are explored in the next section; however, these numbers are collected with the intention that they will be used at a local, state and national level to create value for investors, volunteers and other stakeholders, i.e., build community support. These numbers can easily be reformatted to fit a variety of communication and advocacy tools. Many Main Street communities do at least one of the following:

  • Annual reports to funders showing financials and growth of program for the past year, and demonstrating the impact positive impact a donation can make.
  • Annual reports to local government elected body, along with a work plan and status of projects.
  • Annual meetings of volunteers.
  • Letters to state representatives.
  • Quick, bulleted list in newsletters.
  • Orientation for new board members.
  • Main street quarterly reports


Quarter 1 (January, February, March): Due April 15
Quarter 2 (April, May, June): Due July 15
Quarter 3 (July, August, September): Due October 15
Quarter 4 (October, November, December): Due January 15

General Tips and Helpful Hints

Collect NARRATIVE and STATISTICS information throughout the quarter rather than waiting until the report is due. 

Use Colorado Main Street’s Quarterly Tracking Worksheet to regularly record businesses opened and closed, employees gained and lost, properties sold, etc. as you learn about them. This will enable you to enter STATISTICS quickly and efficiently. 

If you need to edit your STATISTICS survey, contact Colorado Main Street staff. 

If you don’t know how many jobs were created by a new business, make an educated guess. 

Communicate the information collected to your board of directors to help you keep a pulse on downtown.

Ask board members or other volunteers to assist in the collection of data – make it fun for them!

Relationship building is key! “Take doughnuts” and meet personally with the stakeholders who you will need to help you complete these reports. Define exactly what you are requesting, why you are requesting it, and when you need the information. Be prepared to send them a reminder one to two weeks in advance of your report being due.

  • County Assessor (buildings sold and valuations)
  • Building Department (new building construction and values)
  • Issued local businesses licenses (new business openings)
  • Planning Department (new buildings, housing units, commercial units, zoning)
  • Public Works (public works projects and infrastructure investment)
  • Parks & Recreation (public parks investment)
  • Economic Development Organization (DDA, BID, etc.) (public improvements)
  • Chamber of Commerce (businesses opening/closing, number of employees, volunteer hours for events)

Keep detailed meeting minutes for every meeting, including who attends, so you know how many volunteer hours to count for STATISTICS. Minutes also help with the NARRATIVE, as they record discussions, task assignments, and progress.

Walk around your district and talk to your stakeholders. These conversations build relationships while collecting the information you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time will the STATISTICS survey take to complete?
If you have been diligent about keeping track throughout the quarter, completing the survey should only take less than 30 minutes. If you have not stayed current, it may take you up to a week.
How much time will the NARRATIVE report take to complete?
Plan to spend two to four hours on the NARRATIVE. Keeping notes throughout the quarter helps. 
Note: It is important to be thorough to give Colorado Main Street a comprehensive idea of how your program is progressing so staff can help you address any concerns and provide technical support when needed. 
Why are the STATISTICS important?
The STATISTICS from each community are combined quarterly by Colorado Main Street to give a comprehensive picture of the value and impact of the statewide program and to justify annual funding to the Colorado Main Street program from the State of Colorado. 
Along with other statewide organizations, Colorado Main Street sends a comprehensive statistical report to Main Street America, which combines reports from across the nation to show the impact of the Main Street revitalization model throughout the country. Over the years, the cumulative totals demonstrate what it takes to make our downtowns vibrant: millions of dollars of private and public investment in our downtowns; creation of businesses, jobs, and housing units; and contribution of volunteer hours.
The report also helps the local program demonstrate the program’s value to the community and to their elected officials.  
What if there are no new STATISTICS to report from one quarter to the next?
It is still important to completely fill out each category in the report. If you are unable to get an actual number, make an educated guess. 
Why is the NARRATIVE portion of the report necessary?
STATISTICS tell one side of a community’s story. The NARRATIVE gives each community a chance to brag about its successes and share its concerns with Colorado Main Street staff, confidentially. This helps Colorado Main Street understand each community and address concerns before they become more difficult to solve. The more Colorado Main Street knows about what your program is doing, the more staff can help you achieve program goals.
Who should the reports be shared with?
At the very least, the STATISTICS reports should be shared quarterly with the local board of directors. 
On most occasions you should also share the NARRATIVE with the board, unless there is sensitive information that you only want to share with Colorado Main Street staff. Board members may be aware of general downtown activity, but not the details of the program’s involvement. As Main Street board members, they should be aware of the successes and concerns of the program and district’s businesses. This also gives them great talking points to continue to promote the local Main Street program.
Beyond the board, it is a good idea to share with your local government the impacts of the Main Street program to build credibility and possibly secure funding and support. It also is a way to communicate future plans, projects, and concerns. Some programs do an annual report to share with their communities and local elected officials, and to put on their websites. 
The STATISTICS also may be of interest to partner organizations (economic development organization, chamber of commerce, creative district), as well as local media and social media. Touting the amount of public improvements/infrastructure on Main Street is a great way to encourage and sell a prospective business on locating in your downtown.

Completing the Narrative Report

The NARRATIVE report, updated quarterly, is cumulative for the calendar year, providing an annual picture of the revitalization efforts, successes, and challenges in your district. 

The NARRATIVE report can help both your local organization and Colorado Main Street celebrate successes and identify areas that might use some more attention.
At the beginning of the year, download the Quarterly Report Form NARRATIVE from Colorado Main Street’s website. 

Some of the questions may only need to be answered for Q1. 

For Q2, Q3, and Q4 reports, be sure to save the form with a name designating the quarter. 

Add each quarter’s information under the heading for that quarter or color code the text for each quarter.

Do not leave any sections blank (use n/a if there is nothing to report).

Only a brief overview of big milestones/accomplishments and challenges is needed; a play-by-play is not necessary.

Use “Other Notes” for any additional information you would like to include that is not requested elsewhere or if you need support from Colorado Main Street staff. .


  • A current board roster with names, business names, types of business, phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses.
  • Monthly manager reports to your board or local government (if available) and Main Street board meetings, or a summary of these.
  • Any relevant materials (flyers, photos, project final reports, etc.); these can be valuable example for other program. (If only available in hard copy, list and note “available on request.”)
  • Calendar of events with dates, times, locations, and brief descriptions. (An annual calendar is encouraged but quarterly calendars are fine.)
  • Include photos of projects or events so the Colorado Main Street program can share statewide (staff loves photos).  

Completing the Statistics

The number of businesses and jobs are good indicators of your Main Street’s economic vitality. The amount of public and private investment demonstrates interest in the future of that economy. Housing units can help develop the Main Street economy. Your Main Street board members and other volunteers are not only the heart of your program, they demonstrate community buy-in. Events are a great way to celebrate your downtown and bring additional dollars to the community. Altogether, the STATISTICS survey provides an overview of the progress of your program.

There are many ways to collect the STATISTICS needed to complete the quarterly reports. Larger cities may need to contact several different sources, while smaller communities can rely more on personal observations.

The attached “Statistics Best Practices at a Glance” table is designed to help you determine who to contact and when. The “Quarterly Tracking Worksheet for Statistics” can be used to track data on a regular basis, which can be very helpful when it is time to complete the quarterly report.

Businesses and Jobs

It is strongly suggested that each community have a complete inventory of properties and downtown businesses; a spreadsheet is a good method to keep track of businesses as they can come and go regularly and can make your inventory outdated in a short time. 

It is important to keep track of new businesses opening or closing and what type of businesses they are (retail, professional, restaurant, service, etc.), and jobs created or lost. Knowing the mix of businesses, the vitality of those businesses, and what types of businesses are coming and going can be valuable information for any new investors wishing to move into the district. 

Note: Seasonal businesses should only be counted when they open for the first time and if they close permanently, just like any other business. Mobile businesses and food trucks should be counted if they spend the majority (more than 50 percent) of their business hours in the downtown district.

New, expanded, or relocated businesses and jobs 

The best source for the information on businesses are municipal business licenses if required by your city or town. (Be sure to ask if the licenses are for all businesses or just those that collect sales tax.) 

If there are not local business licenses for your community,  keep an eye on empty spaces; if there is activity, stop by to introduce yourself and to learn about the business, including and how many full- and part-time employees are anticipated. 
Commercial realtors and developers may also know what businesses are coming to the district. 

If a business has expanded and added more jobs, record those. Again, relationships with the businesses are key.

Include any business that has relocated to Main Street from outside of the district.

Closings or transferring businesses and jobs

Often the only way you know a business is going to close is when you see the empty space. Develop working relationships with the commercial realtors in your district,, as they may know about movement sooner. Record these businesses and the number of full- and part-time jobs lost as soon as you know about them. 

Note: By knowing what spaces have been vacated, you may be able to steer a potential downtown business to that space.

Building rehabilitations and façade renovations

Improvements may be on the inside or the outside, whether it is a complete interior remodel or simply painting the outside of the building.

If the remodel or rehab is significant, check for building permits with the municipal building department.

If the information is not available from the local building department, consider asking the owner for a ballpark figure for the renovation. Solid working relationships and trust make it easier for the building owner to share information. 

Also note the use of any public money (State Historical Fund grant, local façade improvement grants, etc.)

Count these projects when they are completed.

New Construction

New construction requires building permits, which should include a cost of construction estimate. Check with the local building department.

Also note the use of any public money in the construction.

Count the new building when it is complete and ready for occupancy.

Buildings Sold

The county assessor keeps an inventory of all taxable properties within the county. 

For the quarterly report, only the current sale price is required.

Note: The assessor also can provide the names of the seller and buyer, as well as the square footage of the property and the building, along with the previous sales price. This can be helpful in tracking the history of investment in the downtown.

Note: Request to be put on the county assessors and/or municipal records department email list of notifications, if available. 

Track both commercial and residential properties that are within the boundaries of the Main Street district.

Note: This includes both commercial and residential individual condos; it does not have to be a whole building changing hands. 

Note: Local realtors also may be able to get you this information.

Also note the use of any public money.

Public and Private Improvements and Infrastructure Projects

Any investment your local government makes in downtown improvements is to be recorded, whether it is building a new bridge, adding trash cans, upgrading curbs and gutters, replacing the sewer line, or installing flower baskets. 
Note: Downtown improvements are generally through the Public Works Department; however, some may be through Parks & Recreation; check with the municipal contract officer or Finance Department for costs.

Do not include a public project until it has been completed. 

Any private money spent on improving downtown public spaces should also be recorded, whether sponsoring a flower pot, installing a bike rack, or sidewalk replacements. 

Note: Use your best judgment if including as accurate information my not be obtainable, although good relationships can help with getting the information.

Housing Units

Count any new housing units made available in your Main Street boundary. 

Note: This is easier with an inventory of existing living units; a spreadsheet can be helpful for tracking.
Board and Volunteer Hours
Count both the number of board members and the number of hours served. This includes time spent in meetings.

Note: Be sure to count board members or any standing committee members only once.

Count both the number of other (non-board) volunteers and their hours spent in 
Main Street meetings. Projects and events should also be counted as volunteer hours. 

Note: Do not count those who are involved in the Main Street program because they are volunteering through another program, unless they are there to represent Main Street.

Keep a running total throughout the quarter of volunteer hours; a volunteer coordinator, if available, could do this.

Volunteers for any specific project should keep track of their volunteer hours and report them to the program manager. (This may be in a written summary of any project.)

Minutes of meetings should list attendees.

Note: Best practice is to circulate a sheet at your board meeting for members to record their time spent on Main Street projects and events.

Any hours worked by a part-time staff, whether the program manager or VISTA, that are beyond what they are paid for, may be included in volunteer hours.

Note: Full-time, salaried program managers’ time is not counted as volunteer hours, even when more than 40 hours a week.

Online tools are available for tracking volunteers, such as Volunteerspot, Volunteerhub, Volgistics, Samaritan Technologies, HandsOn Connect, and SignUpGenius.


Events are defined for quarterly reporting as those activities that require planning and promotion and are on a specified date for a specified amount of time (such as sidewalk sales, tree lighting ceremonies, farmers markets, or monthly art walks). 

Note: Meetings are not considered events and should not be counted as such; however, time spent at meetings should be included in the board and volunteer hours. 

Each instance of a regularly scheduled series of events counts as an individual event, whether a weekly farmers market, monthly art walk, or concert series. However, a multi-day event (such as a three-day sidewalk sale or month-long shop local campaign) should only be counted once. 

Count only those events that Main Street hosted or was involved in the planning: If an event was completely planned and executed by Main Street, that is a Main Street event; if Main Street collaborated with another organization and helped plan an event, that also counts as a Main Street event. 

Note: If another organization puts on an event in the downtown district, but Main Street does not help in the planning, that is not to be counted as a Main Street event. However, if the Main Street program helps at this type of event (such as with clean up), that may be counted under volunteer hours.

Summary of the Statistics for Quarterly Reporting

  • Business Openings (names of businesses, types of businesses, number of full-time employees, number of part-time employees)    
  • Businesses Closed/Moved Out of District (names of businesses, types of businesses, number of full-time employees, number of part-time employees)    
  • Building Rehabs/Facade Improvements (name of business or address of building, amount of private investment, amount of public investment, if the building is historically designated, if the building is more than 50 years old)
  • New Construction (name of business or address of building, amount of private investment, amount of public investment) 
  • Number of occupied buildings sold; number of vacant buildings sold    
  • Public improvements and infrastructure in district (amount of private investment, amount of public investment)
  • Number of housing units added to the district
  • Number of volunteer hours; number of board hours (including meetings)    
  • Name of events put on by Main Street; number attending


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