CEBA loans have hit their deadline for repayment by organizations, putting a cap on a COVID-borne emergency measure.

The Canada Emergency Business Account paid out nearly $49 billion to almost 900,000 businesses across Canada.

Eligible businesses can keep up to $20,000 of the max $60,000 loan if they have repaid the rest by the January 18 deadline.

Estevan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jackie Wall says the federal government has been working with businesses during the leadup to the deadline.

"The deadline had already been extended and the deadline is today. Prior to this, businesses and organizations did have the ability to call the CEBA program and they would review their circumstances on a case-by-case basis and work with them to establish a payment arrangement or a repayment plan."

"The businesses also had the opportunity to work with their financial institutions to take a look at also moving into a different type of a loan. So there has been a lot of time for businesses to take a look at what their different options are and to ensure that they had everything in place for the deadline today."

That loan had a good amount of uptake in the southeast, with Wall saying that the Chamber was also able to benefit.

"We took advantage of the first round of the CEBA program. We were able to pay off our portion of it before the deadline of December 31st and we appreciated having those funds, many businesses did as well and it was it was a program that was very welcomed during COVID."

Not all businesses are as able to repay their loans as industries had different reactions to the pandemic and may not have bounced back.

"People were looking at things kind of picking up quicker than they maybe have for a lot of industries, so I realize that a lot of businesses do not feel perhaps that they are in a position to pay those back, especially as a lump sum. However, there have been other options that they could take a look at to ensure that they had a payment plan put together or could find alternative financing."

Wall says that between a survey that was put out across the province and visits to their office, they didn't find any urgent cases or concerns brought to the office.

She says that in the end, the program worked out well for the businesses that needed it.

"It was kind of a situation where you were not sure how things were going to work out, so it was nice to be able to access additional cash."