Hawaii Restaurant Cards to be issued for holidays

  • Contributed photo

    This is the new HRC-Business Holiday Card.

HONOLULU — Thursday, Gov. David Ige announced that an additional 32,000 Hawaii Restaurant Cards will be issued to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants on Nov. 20, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Additionally, he announced the launch of the new HRC-Business Holiday Card, inspired by the Hawai‘i Restaurant Card, which businesses statewide can now purchase for their employees to use at eateries during the holidays.

The HRC-Business Holiday Cards are available to be purchased until Dec. 10, and available in dominations from $5 to $1,000 a card. Once businesses order the cards for their employees through the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i, it takes three weeks to receive them.

Unlike the original Hawaii Restaurant Card, the HRC-Business Holiday Card is not funded by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, so this card will not expire until March 31, 2021.

However, according to the state, all card-printing, processing and operational costs will be underwritten by the state using the federal CARES Act funds. The cards will be mailed in bulk directly to the organization, and like the initial HRC, will be preloaded, prepaid debit cards that can be used at Hawai‘i restaurants, eateries, bakeries and food caterers that accept debit Mastercard.

The state said the idea of extending the HRC program to include the private sector came from local attorney Gordon Arakaki. He approached the state with the possibility of incorporating private businesses in this economic-stimulus initiative.

The collaboration of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Restaurant Association and the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation made this new card possible.

Rick Wacker, CEO of American Savings Bank, is excited to hear about this new program.

“When we first heard about this, we thought it was a great idea,” Wacker said. “We are committed to purchasing 12,000 cards already. We hope to increase that amount in the next week.”

According to DBEDT, several other businesses have already committed to ordering the HRC–Business Holiday Card, including Bank of Hawai‘i, Central Pacific Bank, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawai‘i Medical Service Association, Hawai‘i Business Roundtable, Hawai‘i Pacific Health, Hawaiian Telcom, InSynergy Engineering, Outrigger Hotels &Resorts, Servco and Territorial Savings Bank.

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 website, cochawaii.org.


Stephanie Shinno, features, education, business, and community reporter can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.

  1. River November 15, 2020 5:14 am Reply

    The State of Hawaii never issued restuarant cards to us lowly PUA recipents, only to regularly unemployed individuals. I guess us adversely affected business people are second class citizens. In a word “VOTE”!!!

  2. randy kansas November 15, 2020 6:27 am Reply

    this needs to be fixed: use the card to buy a tea/coke/burger, then tip $400.00, and share the tip with the waiter for cash…turn the card into cash…cards were not intended for this use;

  3. PUA FORGETFULLNESS November 15, 2020 8:48 am Reply

    Aloha Governor,

    Already you guys forgot about plenty Kauai people on the PUA Program this last summer, cutting us off for no reason given, and you never restart us as well.

    So please no forget us now with our American Holiday Time and Dinner assistance.


  4. Chris Dahlberg November 15, 2020 4:29 pm Reply

    Shouldn’t the hard working people that have not collected unemployment get them as well?
    The ones colleting unemployment are laughing all the way to the bank!!
    And then going out for dinner!!
    Give me a break!!
    I know a couple that is both collecting unemployment, and they both got gift cards, $1000.00.
    Give the hard working people something!!
    We are the ones that are being exposed to this Virus!!
    I wish I was laughing all the way to the bank and then going out for steak and lobster!!

  5. Laurette Jennings November 15, 2020 4:29 pm Reply

    I read most of the article.. however, I will
    Be traveling to Maui foe over two weeks and want to know if the general public can purchase a card to use at restaurants? Thank you!

  6. Jacqueline Rellin November 15, 2020 9:09 pm Reply

    I never received the first card so I hope the second one comes through ok.

  7. Stephen C Harla November 15, 2020 11:24 pm Reply

    How about disbursing the money as intended, not making interest on it for yourself, the Hawaiian government is so corrupt and the world can clearly see it now. TRUMP 2020.

  8. Stephen C Harla November 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply

    Hawaiian government, the media are corrupt, fact check that, no need cause you know it’s true. You have no right to censor me. We the people have a 1st ammendment right and you can not take that away.

  9. REX BIGG November 16, 2020 1:12 pm Reply


  10. Solomon December 3, 2020 11:44 pm Reply

    So I meet all the requirements to receive this restaurant card, but because my account was still pending during September I didn’t get one. I got paid out in November but nothing. I call the phone number that the restaurant card website provides and no one there has a clue on how to answer my questions let alone help with anything. Who do we contact for this information or is it just one of those I’m S.O.L cause no one knows what to do or how to fix this.

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