From left, Yoshitaka Ena, Stephanie Nakata, LizAnn Shimamoto, Terry Hara and Antonio Manning perform the kagami biraki, breaking of the sake barrel, at the opening of Chase Bank in Little Tokyo last Friday. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

With a traditional Japanese sake barrel opening ceremony, Chase officially opened a new branch in historic Little Tokyo on Friday.

The new site will add eight new jobs to the community and a wide range of financial services and products for area residents, including financial planning tools, mortgage origination services, auto loans and credit cards.

In an effort to support the neighboring community, Chase also announced that it will award $150,000 to three area non-profits: Inner City Arts, California Community Economic Development Association (CCEDA) and the Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation (LTSC CDC).

The $35,000 Inner City Arts grant will support its Visual & Media Arts and Performing Arts Institutes, which offer year-round evening and weekend art workshops to underserved middle and high school students from inner-city Los Angeles.

The $40,000 CCEDA grant will assist the non-profit in providing technical support services to local housing developers.

The $75,000 LTSC CDC grant will support its Affordable Housing Collaborative — a model of affordable housing development that establishes formal partnerships to mentor, coach and finance smaller non-profit partners wanting to develop affordable housing.

Chase, which five years ago had no presence in California, continues to grow steadily and now has more than 1,000 branches throughout the Golden State. Chase employs about 20,000 California residents and serves more than 10 million consumer customers and 680,000 small business clients. In the city of Los Angeles, it has almost 640,000 consumer customers and more than 46,000 small business clients.

“In an era when many banks are cutting their branch network, JPMorgan Chase is expanding and redefining the branch experience,” said LizAnn Shimamoto, Chase Consumer and Business Banking district manager. “We are thrilled to call this community home and we invite our neighbors to join us at the new branch for a comprehensive conversation about their financial life, whether that’s financing their first home or preparing for retirement.”

The new branch is located at 100 S. San Pedro St. (at First Street). It will feature two of Chase’s newest customer service innovations:

• Express-banking kiosks that offer the services of a traditional ATM, plus new options including the ability to make credit card payments and cash withdrawals in denominations of $1, $5, $20 and $100.

• The ability to instantly issue working debit cards for customers opening new accounts, or who are in need of a replacement card.

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