Vancouver Would Be Cooler If It Gave $500 Restaurant Cards to Its Unemployed

Vancouver Would Be Cooler If is a column that advocates for things that exist in other cities that could serve to improve or otherwise celebrate life in our own.

Since our provincial political parties seem to be in such a giving mood this month I thought I might add an interesting idea – from the US state of Hawaii – to the increasingly comical pile: $500 restaurant gift cards for the unemployed.

“If you’re unemployed, the state’s newest economic plan is looking to keep money in your bank account, and food in your stomach.”


“…around 100,000 people will be getting these cards. Officially called the Hawaii Restaurant Card. which work much like gift cards, and when funds are depleted, they will not be replenished. The money can be used for the entire restaurant bill, including alcohol purchases and the tip.

The hope for these cards is that it will help put some money back into the local economy by not only helping restaurants but also “local farmers” and other parts of the supply chain.

“According to the UHERO study that evaluated the program, it would nearly double its economic impact for our local businesses,” said Sherry Menor McNamara, president of Hawaii’s Chamber of Commerce, told KHON2.

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