More than 200 IPU NZ students were each given $30 to spend in Palmerston North.
One of IPU founders, Dr Ohashi, said Palmerston North has always been available to the tertiary institute, and to celebrate 30 years she wanted to give back to the city.
"The city of Palmerston North has always been there for IPU New Zealand and I wanted to aid in this time of need."
Ohashi said IPU was proud of the students who responded to lock-down regulations beyond expectations.
"I would like to give my praise to the students who stayed in their rooms on campus following strict instructions during the lockdown.
"I thought of a project for the city in honour of the 30th anniversary of IPU NZ, and I am
convinced that all activities will be important for several months after the lockdown."
Ohashi personally donated $30 to 97 students on campus and more than 100 within the city to shop locally at their favourite cafe, restaurant or other shop closed during the lockdown.
Mayor Grant Smith said IPU has been a part of the Palmerston North community with many international students and visiting families that brought much diversity.
"Along with other tertiary institutions, IPU contributes a great deal to our educational offering.
"These are challenging times and I personally like to acknowledge and thank Dr Ohashi for her generous offer to now support our community."
Local business operator Paul Leang of Black Pearl Cafe said the IPU team and Black Pearl were like brothers and sisters.
"I was an IPC student in 2007 and I understand what IPU students will love.
"I always want to support our students and it's great that IPU is helping to revive business in the city."
Amy Chiew of The Bean Cafe said it was heart-warming news to small businesses.
"We do need all the support we can get at this time.
"We know many small businesses are striving to keep their business going.
"This promotion is thoughtful and will be very helpful.
"Thank you to Dr. Ohashi for the support to the local businesses."