President Bush this week signed new legislation expanding small-business opportunities for veterans and helping reservists run their businesses after they've been deployed.

The Military Reservist and Veteran Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act, introduced by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), will create taskforce focused on helping veteran-owned  small businesses with procurement, franchising, and access to capital.

It also establishes a grant program aimed at boosting outreach to the veteran community through Small Business Development Centers and increases authorization for appropriations by the Small Business Administration's Office of Veteran Business Development. In addition, it creates a permanent advisory committee on business affairs for veterans.

Kerry said the bill will provide help for some 24 million veterans and 1.1 million reservists.