The global Covid-19 pandemic is putting a financial strain on both entrepreneurs and startups alike. While governments across the world have put in place schemes to help employees, some have put in place rules that mean small businesses don’t qualify for financial assistance.

Today, BetterMed has announced that it will allocate $5 billion in funds to provide zero percent interest loans to small businesses, and with extremely favorable repayment terms.

BetterMed is a full-service financial assistance company, helping patients more easily afford healthcare through low-interest medical loans and a suite of financial assistance services. Founded in 2011, and operating in 51 countries, it manages a $36 billion loan fund.

While BetterMed’s Compassionate Grounds program already offers significant aid for those that help with medical bills, BetterMed CEO AJCohen and his team have expanded their services to anyone in need of cash at this time, including individuals and small businesses.

“We already have a Compassionate Grounds program whereby we gift $750 million per year to individuals who cannot afford their bills,” Cohen said. “Since there is an economic crisis, we have decided to allocate $5 billion of our fund to zero percent APR loans. Of course, these loans are on a limited basis, and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once we reach our limit, this special program will reach its maturity/will be retired.”

BetterMed guarantees at least $100,000 to individuals who can provide basic requirements — an application fee, photo ID, proof of income and proof of employment (or previous employment if recently laid off due to the pandemic). Small businesses can borrow as much as $2 million.

So how does the process work, and where do people apply?

“People apply online at our website,” Cohen said. “We require a $999 application fee upfront, which acts as a form of security on the loan. As soon as we receive their application and collect the supporting documentation, a check is dispatched to them to assist them with overcoming the financial challenges of their businesses during this economic crisis. Also, all payments can be deferred for one year. This means that we do not start collecting repayment on the loans. It’s important that these companies get back on their feet to avoid default.”

The loans are available in all 51 countries BetterMed operates in.

What’s next for BetterMed?

“Outside of the current pandemic, we are expanding our company to provide comprehensive financial assistance services for patients and their families,” Cohen said. “This includes insurance dispute resolution, debt consolidation, and medical tourism. We also plan to continue our robust Compassionate Grounds program, which earmarks $750 million a year to ensure all individuals have access to the medical care they need. We’re proud to say we’ve already helped 220,000 individuals through this program and plan to reach many more.”