With unemployment just below ten percent and business experts criticizing President Obama’s fiscal policies, the president signed a new bill into law that claims to offer relief to small businesses.

Democrats say the bill could provide up to $300 billion in credit for small businesses and possibly create 500,000 new jobs. Republicans contest that the bill is no more than a smaller, half-hearted rework of the Wall Street bail out.

The bill’s supporters tout its core provisions of business oriented tax write-offs and a more robust loan program. Specifically, the bill extends the SBA Recovery Act, a lending program to provide small business credit. The bill also allows small businesses to write off $500,000 in equipment costs and some limited start-up costs. Additionally, self-employed entrepreneurs will be able to deduct the cost of health insurance.

The real-world effects of the new law have been a subject of hot debate and will not be immediately clear. Stay tuned to see what becomes of the small business assistance bill and how its provisions translate to entrepreneurs across the country.