Small Business Recovery Index (SBRI): March 2021 Update


U.S. economic recovery continues to pick up steam as consumers increased their spending last month, particularly on in-person services. A growing number of external data sources are pointing to pent-up demand and robust recovery from home prices that are rising at the fastest pace in 15 years to airport volumes that are hitting their highest levels in a year in March. Importantly, these macro trends are being positively reflected at the small business and micro-level as applications for small business loans reveal sharp spikes over the past month. The application volume that we are seeing internally at Ocrolus indicates small business optimism, particularly in industries hard hit by the pandemic, as consumers grow more comfortable dining, shopping and traveling outside their homes. 


 Key takeaways from March 2021:

  • Loan application volume soared across the board in March, however most acutely in Florida, Illinois, Texas and New York


Application Volume


Month-over-Month Increase




+ 536%



New York


  • The SBR scores by geography continue to highlight that the coastal regions most affected by the pandemic still face lengthy recoveries. While Texas rebounded remarkably well from a drop largely attributable to cold weather and snowstorms, areas of the country that depend largely on tourism, including Nevada and Hawaii, still remain below pre pandemic levels.


MSA Index


SBR Score


Saline County, AR


+1.5 pts

Dallas County, TX


+2.1 pts

Cobb County, GA


-3.7 pts

New York County, NY




  • SBR scores by industry rose sharply for selected in-person sectors, driven largely by increases in loan volume and job growth. Recent federal stimulus and easing business restrictions have propelled growth and hiring in the apparel stores and eating and drinking places industries.


Application Volume


M-o-M Increase

Apparel and Accessory Stores


Business Services

+ 209%

Depository Institutions


Personal Services 



Industry Index

Industry Type

SBR Score


Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation


-1.4 pts

Food Services and Drinking Places


+2.4 pts

Real Estate


+2.2 pts

Credit Intermediation and Related Activities


+1.9 pts


About the Ocrolus Small Business Recovery Index

Ocrolus is committed to supporting the lending community in its understanding of underlying credit risk with real-time income and cash flow analytics derived from bank account data and other sources. The amalgamation of highly relevant external data at the regional level, combined with proprietary Ocrolus insights at the borrower level, provides a window into the resilience and prospects for recovery for millions of businesses in the U.S. This is what the Small Business Recovery Index seeks to capture — a real-time snapshot of the health of small businesses by industry and geography.


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