Small Business Survival Committee

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

The Small Business Survival Committee (SBSC) is an industry-funded organization that has campaigned on behalf of the tobacco industry and against open source software. The organization appeared on a 2000 Philip Morris list of "National allies."[1]

The president of SBSC was Karen Kerrigan, who, on an October 3, 1995 internal Philip Morris email was described as being a "proxy" for Timothy N. Hyde of R.J. Reynolds on a radio show.[2]

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.

Relation with 'Small Business Survival Foundation'

SBSC is a 501(c)(4) organization. The related 'Small Business Survival Foundation' (SBSF) is a 501(c)(3) organization. The relation between these organizations is vague. Neither organisation appears in the GuideStar archives - which cover the last five years - and only the SBSC has a web site.

In 1997 Karen Kerrigan was president of both the SBSF and the SBSC. [3] Also in 1997 Raymond J. Keating was the chief economist of SBSF. [4], a position he still holds at SBSC. It is unclear if the SBSF is still active.

In an article written by Karen Kerrigan on April 5, 2002 she was described as: "KAREN KERRIGAN is chairman and founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Small Business Survival Foundation." [5]

A now no longer existing page on the SBSC web site, dated June 10,1996, started with

"Washington, D.C. ­­ The Small Business Survival Foundation (SBS Foundation) ­­ a nonpartisan research and education organization focusing on public policy issues relating to small business and entrepreneurship ­­ has called on candidates to focus closely on the issues in this year's campaign. To help this process along, the Foundation re­released its comprehensive guide to issues impacting entrepreneurs and the economy ­­ "Entrepreneurs and Elections '96: A Candidate's Handbook to Critical Small Business Issues."

SBS Foundation President Karen Kerrigan declared: "Entrepreneurs, business owners, and their employees are looking for a substantive, issues­based campaign in 1996.
" [6]

A current page on that web site states:

"The Small Business Survival Committee (SBSC) is a 50,000 member nonprofit, nonpartisan 501 (c)(4) advocacy and lobbying organization. Members of SBSC represent a diversity of small businesses, enterprises and entrepreneurs from every industry and region across America." [7]

Tobacco and Open Source

In 1995, SBSC successfully asked funding from Philip Morris while lobbying on behalf of the tobacco industry. [8] Philip Morris gave in 1995 to SBSC $40,000 and to SBSF $40,000 [9] and in 1997 to SBSC $40,000 and to SBSF $60,000. [10]

SBSC has also joined in the attack on open source software. "In the software universe, something similar to the Borg from 'Star Trek' seems to be at work," declared SBSC's Raymond J. Keating. "It’s called open source software distributed under an agreement known as General Public License (GPL). If you recall, the Borg are 'Star Trek' bad guys. They’re basically evil bureaucrats with skin problems, who assimilate every species they come in contact with throughout the universe. Societies are wiped out. Individual thought and creativity are extinguished as individuals are absorbed into a collective. Something similar could be said of GPL-based open source software."

SBSC Fronts for Anti-Environmental Agenda

On the SBSC's "Issues Analysis" webpage, , in the "Energy and the Environment" menu, one can find an assortment af articles attacking environmental laws, regulations and proposals. Subjects covered include global warming, mercury, air pollution, the Endangered Species Act, MTBE, and CAFE standards. These articles promote free market solutions, criticize the "bad science" in environmentalists' claims about mercury and global warming, promote SUVs, and support the House Republican energy plan.



Contact information

1920 L. Street N.W. Suite 200
Washington D.C. 20036
Phone (202) 785-0238
Fax (202) 822-8118
web site:

Other SourceWatch resources

External links

<tdo>search_term=Small Business Survival Committee</tdo> Small Business Survival Committee