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DBEDT NEWS:Businesses Can Support Local Restaurants Through Expanded Hawai‘i Restaurant Card Program

Hawai‘i Restaurant Card To Arrive in Mailboxes For Eligible Pandemic

Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Individuals Just In Time For Thanksgiving

Starting tomorrow, businesses across the State of Hawai‘i can now play a part in supporting the recovery of the local economy by purchasing the Hawai‘i Restaurant Card (HRC) for employees this holiday season. Additionally, more than 32,000 eligible PUA individuals will receive a preloaded, prepaid card containing $500 in the mail beginning November 20, just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend.

“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. “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 December 15 deadline to use the Cards.”

Organizations can complete an HRC – Business Holiday Card order form online from November 13 through December 10 and purchase Cards in denominations from $5 to $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 organization, and like the initial HRC, will be a 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, who 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 Hawaii, 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 overall HRC Program, and now expansion of the original initiative to include the HRC – Business Holiday Card, would not have been possible without the support of Representative Sylvia Luke, House District 25 and Chair of the House Committee on Finance.

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 For more information about the HRC – Business Holiday Card, visit The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii at


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