The Hawai‘i Restaurant Card (HRC) program has been extended for the holiday season.
Starting Friday, businesses statewide have the option to support the local economy that supports them by purchasing the restaurant cards for employees. Beyond the purchase options, more than 32,000 eligible PUA individuals will receive a preloaded, prepaid card containing $500. Those are scheduled to begin arriving in the mail on Nov. 20, six days prior to Thanksgiving.
“The launch of the Hawai‘i Restaurant Card was a resounding success, with more than 105,000 eligible individuals activating their cards and spending more than $26.5 million at eateries across the state over the last three weeks,” said Mike McCartney, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism for the state of Hawai‘i. “The multiplier effect on the restaurant industry supply chain as a result of this program has been tremendous, and with this new, expanded program, it gives additional opportunity to keep the momentum going after the Dec. 15 deadline to use the cards.”
Organizations can complete an HRC – Business Holiday Card order form online from Nov. 13 through Dec. 10 and purchase cards in denominations from between $5 and $1,000. All card printing, processing, and operational costs will be underwritten by the state using Federal CARES Act funds.
The cards will be mailed in bulk directly to the organizations, will arrive as preloaded, prepaid debit cards that can be used at Hawai‘i restaurants, eateries, bakeries, and food caterers that accept debit Mastercard®. The cards ordered through the HRC Program – Business Holiday Card must be used by March 31, 2021.
The idea of extending the HRC Program to include the private sector came from local attorney Gordon Arakaki when he approached the state with the possibility of incorporating private businesses in this economic stimulus initiative.
“We are happy to support such a terrific program that will infuse millions of dollars into our local restaurant industry and supply chain,” said Rich Wacker, president & CEO of American Savings Bank, which is coordinating the production and distribution of the HRC – Business Holiday Card for organizations to purchase. “We hope businesses will take advantage of this unique opportunity to boost our local economy while showing appreciation for their employees and clients this holiday season.”
Several businesses have already committed to ordering the HRC – Business Holiday Card, including American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawai‘i, Central Pacific Bank, City Mill, First Hawaiian Bank, HMSA, Hawai‘i Business Roundtable, Hawai‘i Pacific Health, Hawaiian Telcom, InSynergy Engineering, ‘Iolani School, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Servco, and Territorial Savings Bank.
The card is supported by Money Network from First Data, now Fiserv. The card will not be accepted at grocery or convenience stores or for grab-and-go prepared meals.
To obtain the HRC – Business Holiday Card order form, visit moneynetwork.com/everywherereward. For more information about the HRC – Business Holiday Card, visit The Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i at www.cochawaii.org.