Amazon’s lending program has hit epic proportions, with one-third of loans being granted in the last year, alone.

The online giant’s Amazon Lending program has surpassed $3 billion in loans to small businesses since the service launched in 2011. Specifically, Amazon has lent more than $1 billion to small businesses in the last 12 months, and more than 20,000 small businesses have received a loan from Amazon.

The Amazon Lending program offers short-term business loans, for up to 12 months, to invited micro, small and medium businesses selling on Amazon. Invited small businesses can apply for loans ranging from $1,000 to $750,000. The program’s goal? To help Amazon’s third party companies to grow their business.

Half of the items sold on Amazon worldwide are from small businesses that offer their products through Amazon Marketplace, giving Amazon a ripe customer base. Besides giving these companies…