(KITV) The state unveiled a spin off to the Hawaii Restaurant Card, hoping to help boost Hawaii’s economy

(SOURCE: KITV)

The Hawaii Restaurant Card Business Holiday Card Program is available to any registered business.

Governor David Ige unveiled another program on Thursday he hopes will help boost our economy, it’s a play off the $500 Hawaii Restaurant Card the state issued to beneficiaries of unemployment last month.

Those were free, this one is not. The Hawaii Restaurant Card Business Holiday Card Program is available to any registered business. It’s good at any restaurant in the state and there’s one big change, it can be used to buy alcohol.

Some restaurant owners told KITV4 the restaurant card helped double business, there’s hope the new card does the same thing.

“This holiday card program will provide us to turn the calendar because going into the first quarter, usually it’s a tough time. If we don’t end strong at the end of the year, we usually don’t start the year strong. This gives us a fighting chance,” Victor Lim, Hawaii Restaurant Association, said.

This is how it works. Business can buy a card, programmed between $5 and $1,000. Then those businesses can gift it to whomever they please. Whoever gets one at no cost can use it as they wish.

So far, representatives from organizations like City Mill, Hawaii Medical Services Association (HMSA) and Iolani School say they plan to purchase hundreds of cards.

“The gift cards are more than just a gift as it provides so much more opportunity for Hawaii’s restaurant and its supply chain. This is truly a business to business effort in getting our local economy back up,” Steven Ai, City Mill, said.

A representative from HMSA says their plan is to buy cards and give to different charities.

“With so many non-profits in the community working tirelessly to help people during these unprecedented times, HMSA will be gifting these business holiday cards to Catholic Charities,” Jenn Diesman, HMSA, said.

Those cards expire on March 31. Cards with remaining funds will be donated to two local non-profits. 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.

For an order form, visit moneynetwork.com/everywherereward.

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