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The Kent County Commissioners announced Tuesday they’re in receipt of $238,000 from Maryland’s Rainy Day Fund to help the county’s restaurants that mainly depend on inside dining for the bulk of their revenue. 

Grants will be available up to $10,000 and the county will take applications between Nov. 16 at 8 a.m. and Nov. 23 at 5 p.m.

Kent Economic Development Director Jamie Williams also asked to move an additional $50,000 from the county’s Coronavirus Relief Fund to the restaurant relief effort.

“I’d like to add that to the restaurant relief fund because $238,000…isn’t going to go very far throughout Kent County,” she told the commissioners at the Nov. 10 Commissioners’ meeting. The commissioners approved the request.

The $288,000 now brings the total amount spent on COVID-19 business relief in the county to nearly $750,000.

Commissioner Ron Fithian said that commissioners will have a better handle on any unspent Coronavirus Relief Funds at the Dec. 1 Commissioners meeting. Fithian said the county is determined to direct any unspent money where needed before Dec. 31, which is the deadline for the money to be spent or be returned to the state.

Yesterday’s decision came two hours before Gov. Larry Hogan tightened new restrictions that reduced dining capacity in restaurants from 75 to 50 percent — in the wake of a rising trend in new cases that recently moved the state’s positivity rate above 5 percent.