WILL Challenges Discriminatory Program on Behalf of Texas Small Business

The News: Today, as part of its nationwide Equality Under the Law project, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) sent a letter to Bexar County and its County Manager, David Smith, condemning its racially discriminatory “Small Business Assistance Program.” Bexar County is using $10 million of federal tax dollars to support small businesses; but the program discriminates against many businesses based on race, including WILL client DigitalDesk, Inc. WILL’s letter notifies the county that it will file a lawsuit on behalf of DigitalDesk if the discrimination does not stop.

The Quote: WILL Deputy Counsel, Dan Lennington, stated, “Unless our government stops discriminating based on race, America will never achieve its promise of equality for all. Government-sponsored race discrimination is a nationwide problem. Like many other local governments, Bexar County is picking and choosing winners based on race—this is truly a despicable and unconstitutional policy.”

Background: Bexar County is home to San Antonio, the 7th largest city in America. Funded by $10 million from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Bexar County Small Business Assistance Program provides grants to small business owners impacted by the pandemic. The Program offers grants of up to $50,000 for qualifying small businesses.

DigitalDesk, based in San Antonio, is a software development company that offers a suite of software tools designed to enhance learning and assessment processes of educational institutions.

Bexar County’s grant program offers a racial preference to businesses that are “minority owned.” As seen in the chart below, minority-owned small businesses receive six additional points, which could mean the difference between receiving a grant or not.

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Dan Lennington

Dan Lennington

Deputy Counsel

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