CNN -- If you don't think Hispanics are a major force in the American marketplace, think again.
Hispanic business ownership is growing three times as fast as the national average and Hispanic purchasing power is expected to reach more than $1 trillion by 2011, according to the Census Bureau and other studies.
All too aware of this growing force, many companies are wooing Hispanic consumers and their spending power.
"The Hispanic consumer market here in the U.S. is actually as big or bigger than the GDP [gross domestic product] of Mexico or Canada," Michael Barrera, CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, told CNN. "We're the second largest economy in North America."
Photo: A Laguna Grille on Long Island. The "Nuevo Latino" restaurant is one of three by Frank and Elizabeth Minier.