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Our “Card A Hero” Stimulus Plan

Research & Innovation, a boutique consulting firm focused on delivering actionable insights to advise organizations through their largest challenges, has launched a direct-action stimulus plan in response to the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States. This program follows from a report published by the firm last week titled “Send Oilers, Masks & Money: Our Perspective on Coronavirus et al,” regarding the recent disjunction in the world financial markets, which has been caused by two separate issues: the pandemic of coronavirus and the recent increase in oil production by Saudi Arabia.

The Card A Hero plan is as simple as it is effective: citizens are urged to purchase gift cards to restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and other hard-hit businesses, then give them to those working to fight Coronavirus. The aim of the initiative is to both immediately provide funds to those businesses that are hardest hit by giving them cash today in exchange for a gift card for future purchases, and to extend a gesture of gratitude to the under-recognized heroes of this crisis.

As a firm focused on novel solutions to complex challenges for our clients, it became increasingly apparent that there remains a need for a means of actively engaging the public in supporting our economy and that a deferred consumption model best fits the bill.

“While people take precautions to protect themselves from the negative health effects of exposure to Coronavirus, our economy risks exposure to a different contagion in the form of a drastic slowdown in economic spending particularly in hospitality and entertainment sectors,” said Alex Burns, a Partner at Research & Innovation.  “This program allows for a direct in-flow of funds to businesses, which will enable them to retain employees and meet short-term obligations while setting up a wave of hospitality & entertainment spending from the excess consumption beyond the value of the gift cards as soon as the situation has resolved itself.”

Card A Hero is intended to be an iterative measure that will work in conjunction with the stimulus programs being considered and enacted by Federal, State and Local governments.  Although the formal stimulus programs (including a waiver of student loan interest, disaster relief loans and quantitative easing) are vital to adding liquidity to the markets and restoring confidence in the economy, these programs do not provide any means for individuals to get involved and do not have the added benefit of an opportunity to show our collective thanks for those working to stop the pandemic.

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