In 1904 he had a shop Chop Seng Chiong at Beach Road. In 1908 he was a ship chandler with an office at Philip Street. He supplied provisions and spare parts to ships that called at Singapore. In the same year he had a timber trading business with a saw mill at Beach Road. He imported logs from mainland Malaya and Indonesia and exported them to the west.
In 1919 he founded the Pacific Bank and was the bank's first chairman. He presided at the meeting. The following year he and his friends opened the Batu Pahat bank in Johore. He was one of the Board of Directors and a major shareholder. In 1920 he founded two tin mines. They were the Trengganu Corporation and the Ulu Pacca Corporation. He was their chairman and presided in all their meetings. They were incorporated in Singapore and their office was at 96 Market Street Singapore.
Above document is a page from a publication on The Developing Economies of Malaysia. It showed that in 1919 Chew Joo Chiat was the first Board Chairman of the Pacific Bank
Chew Joo Chiat's Family
After the turn of the century he had his residence at No 246 Joo Chiat Road (later renumbered as No 65) to be near his plantations. His house was a unique three storey building with a front balcony overlooking the road. It had a fenced in forecourt and a gate with steps leading to the road. There was an air-well in the centre part of the building for natural lighting and ventialation. At the air well was a well and the water was used for cooking, drinking and washing. He also built a permanent opera stage across the road so that he could engage Teochew opera troupe to stage shows during his birthdays and Chinese festivals. The opera show was his only entertainment. During his birthdays he invited his business associates for dinner and a few chosen friends to view with him the opera show from the balcony.
His family in China enjoyed his prosperity as he sent remitted money to them. Their lives had been upgraded to the upper class. It enabled his eldest son Chew Cheng Liam to marry a rich family's daughter. She had bounded feet and a maid (slave girl) to attend to all her needs. In 1915 Chew Joo Chiat sent for his two sons Chew Cheng Liam and Chew Cheng Swee and Cheng Liam's family (his wife, 2 children and a maid) to join him in Singapore. They lived with Chew Joo Chiat in his three storey house. Later the two sons built their own home along Joo Chiat Road and moved out. Like most Chinaman of his era, he was addicted to the persuit of wealth but never enjoy the luxury of life inspite of his wealth. He died on 5th February 1926 leaving behind 2 sons, Cheng Liam 请廉 and Cheng Swee 请水, 3 daughters Gui Neo桂娘，Xian Neo羡娘，Su Lan素蘭, 5 grandsons Ann Sim安心, Ann Chi安持，Ann Siong安相，Ann Fu安扶，Ann Jing安静 and 3 grand-daughters Choo Neo珠娘，Pen Zhi盆治，Dan Zhi丹治。
Chew Joo Chiat never return to his homeland at Her San 和山, Fujian福建 province in China since he came to Singapore. His root in China had been cut off permanently. On the other hand, he left a living legacy in his adopted land, Singapore. In Joo Chiat area many roads are named after him, such as Joo Chiat Road, Joo Chiat Place, Joo Chiat Terrace, Joo Chiat Lane, Joo Chiat Avenue and Joo Chiat Walk, Joo Chiat Square and Joo Chiat Complex. Today Joo Chiat is a living legacy. In February 2011 Joo Chiat was awarded the first Heritage Town in Singapore.