GARDENA — On Saturday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m., the Little Tokyo Community Impact Fund (LTCIF) will hold a special kick-off meeting at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, 1964 W. 162nd St. in Gardena.

The purpose of the meeting is to introduce the fund to prospective investors in the South Bay, present updates on the fund’s progress, and provide details about how to invest in the effort. The meeting will include an informational presentation followed by a question- and-answer session with current investors and LTCIF steering committee members. Payments and investor documents will be accepted at the event.

The LTCIF, a social purpose corporation, is a unique, community-driven investment opportunity that empowers individuals to own a stake in the future of Little Tokyo. Investors purchase shares in the fund, which go directly toward acquiring property in Little Tokyo to preserve family-owned small businesses and community institutions.

Approved by the Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight in July, the LTCIF has already attracted more than $300,000 in investments from community members throughout California.

“The progress we’ve made in just the last four months shows how many people care deeply about the future of Little Tokyo as a commercial, cultural, and spiritual center for Los Angeles,” noted Bill Watanabe, president of the LTCIF. “Many South Bay families have strong ties to Little Tokyo, and we’re excited to share this important opportunity.”

The LTCIF was established as a direct response to rising real-estate prices in the Downtown area. As development pressures in the area have grown, many memorable and historic businesses and institutions that once called Little Tokyo home have closed their doors. By purchasing, leasing, and managing real estate in and around Little Tokyo, the LTCIF will contribute to community revitalization and cultural preservation while allowing community members to own a stake in the neighborhood for years to come.

“As a resident of Little Tokyo for the past eight years, I see it has become urgent that we focus on preserving Little Tokyo’s history and heritage. We owe it to the Issei and Nisei who built this community,” says LTCIF member Patty Nagano. “We need to keep the kimochi (heart) of Little Tokyo alive for generations.”

The LTCIF is led by long-standing stakeholders, experts in real estate and finance, and members of the nonprofit community in Little Tokyo. Established in 2018, the LTCIF is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Japanese American family-owned businesses, cultural institutions, and spiritual centers in Little Tokyo. To learn more and to RSVP for the kick-off, visit LTCIF’s website at

Note: The Commissioner of Business Oversight of the State Of California does not recommend or endorse the purchase of these securities.

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