Kent County’s indoor restaurants will receive financial relief of $338,000 to weather hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money comes from a $238,000 grant from Maryland’s Rainy Day Fund and $100,000 from monies remaining in the county’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.
The commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to move the funds that must be spent by Dec. 31 — or returned to the state.
Grants were approved for indoor restaurants of up to $10,000. Commissioner Ron Fithian said he and Commissioners Tom Mason and Bob Jacob will personally hand deliver checks to restaurant owners beginning next week.
The commissioners praised Kent County Economic Development Director Jamie Williams for advancing the relief effort and creating the formulas to allocate the money.
Fithian said all qualified restaurants were awarded money.
There could be at least $30,000 remaining in the fund after all the COVID-19 relief programs in the county are reconciled. The remaining money is slated to roll into another relief program for new businesses that were established after the pandemic — and that are in good standing with state and local governments.
Williams will announce the specific use of funds at the Dec. 8 Commissioner’s meeting.
Fithian said it was the intention of the commissioners “to make sure every dime is spent in Kent County and doesn’t have to be returned to the state.”
The county will also get a new ambulance specifically designed to handle COVID-19 patients. The $250,000 price tag will be split between the commissioners and the Kent County Health Department. The new ambulance will also play a backup role for the county’s volunteer emergency system.
To deal with potential food insecurity in the months ahead the commissioners approved $48,000 for the Kent County Feed the Elderly program operated by Social Action Committee for Racial Justice.