A news conference was held today with Governor David Ige, Sherry Menor-McNamara, the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i, and local restaurant and food industry suppliers, to announce that the new Hawai‘i Restaurant Card Program pre-loaded cards have been mailed out to all eligible individuals. The program is a private-public partnership that is providing pre-paid $500 cards to qualified Hawai‘i unemployment insurance recipients impacted by COVID-19, to purchase food and non-alcoholic beverages at Hawai‘i eating establishments and fast food restaurants. The program runs through Dec. 15, 2020.
Governor Ige said, “The Hawai‘i restaurant industry is one of the hardest hit and has the highest economic boosting impact. The Hawai‘i Restaurant Card Program will inject, on average, over $1.2 million into the local economy each day during this 60-day period. I want to extend a big mahalo to everyone who worked hard to create this much-needed, economy-reviving program.” Menor-McNamara said, “The Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i, along with the restaurant industry are excited to announce that over 116,000 Hawai‘i Restaurant Cards are in the mail and are expected to be arriving in mailboxes, statewide, as early as this Friday.” Highway Inn Restaurant Owner Monica Toguchi Ryan added, “This exciting program will not only provide targeted help to the community, but it will re-invigorate the restaurant sector by bringing customers through our doors. These funds will initially be used to help pay our employees, and then pay our suppliers who range from small local farmers to fishermen. This program will help revitalize our local economy in more ways that most people could imagine.”
The governor also announced that the one-time benefit will not impact SNAP and Medicaid benefits or eligibility. For more details on the program and to see if you are eligible, go to: https://www.hawaiirestaurantcard.com/