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N.Y. LEADS BOOM IN HISPANIC BUSINESS

Hispanic-owned businesses are opening three times faster than the national  average — and New York’s Latino entrepreneurs are leading the way, government figures show. U.S. Census Bureau statistics show Hispanics owned 1.6 million American businesses in 2002, 31 percent more than in 1997. The
census also showed New York’s Hispanic entrepreneurs were opening for business nearly twice as fast — showing a 57 percent increase. The outsized success among Hispanics is being attributed to a huge surge in the Latino community over recent years. "The Hispanic consumer market is exploding,"
said Michael Barrera, president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "A lot of Hispanic businesses are going to benefit from that." Among high-growth areas for Latino entrepreneurs was the Bronx, the county with the fourth-largest number of Hispanic companies in the country. Queens was
fifth. Experts estimate that Hispanic consumers spend $700 billion a year. That is expected to rise to $1 trillion by the end of the decade. Bronx businessman Frank Garcia said, "Hispanic businesses are serving Latino customers, [who] … are very loyal customers. That community is expanding very quickly, and that is why businesses serving them are growing so rapidly." Garcia, 36, who is also president of the New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, is seeing his own 10-year-old
office supply company, Millennium Remanufactured Toners, grow quickly. 
(Source: New York Daily News)

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