Fifth small business minister quits

Chris Bowen has resigned from his post as the Federal Small Business Minister on Friday, just over a month after the Gillard government replaced Brendan O'Connor  with Mr Bowen.

Mr Bowen is the fifth small business minister in 15 months and joins previous occupants of the role Craig Emerson, Nick Sherry, Mark Arbib and Brendan O'Connor.

According to Australian Retailers Association executive director, Russell Zimmerman, the "revolving door" of small business ministers was detrimental for industry.

"Retailers are struggling with business costs which are unsustainable and in need of a complete review and overhaul, as well as having to wear suppressed consumer sentiment resulting from political instability," said Mr Zimmerman in a statement.

"The importance of a stable small business portfolio cannot be underestimated, given there's almost no Australian who doesn't go about their day without relying on at least one small business."

The Council of Small Business of Australia's Peter Strong also echoed this sentiment, indicating in a statement that the small business community needed "certainty and continuity" in this area. He cited record-level bankruptcies and difficulties facing small businesses as key reasons for this consistency.

According to Startup Smart, potential contenders for the small business portfolio include Jason Clare, Sharon Bird, Mike Kelly, Andrew Leigh and Gai Brodtmann. Other key positions that have been vacated include the resources, tourism, tertiary education, science and research, local government and the arts portfolios.

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