A $288,000 grant fund program set up to help the county’s restaurants has already received about 35 applications.

Kent’s Economic Development Office began taking applications on Nov. 16 at 8 a.m. and will continue to take applications up until Nov. 23 at 5 p.m.

The fund consists of $238,000 from the state’s rainy day fund and $50,000 from the county’s Coronavirus Relief Fund that was approved by the Kent County Commissioners on Nov.10.

The money is to support restaurants struggling with revenue losses from the COVID-19 restrictions and brace for more uncertainty as the Gov. Larry Hogan weighs more restrictive measures in the weeks ahead.

The restaurant fund could be increased at the Dec. 1 meeting when about $150,000 in unspent Coronavirus Relief Funds will be allocated to other COVID-19 efforts around the county, said Kent County Commissioner Ron Fithian in an interview on Thursday.

Besides restaurants, Fithian said some of the $150,000 remaining in the fund could be directed to help food pantries, provide additional rental assistance and help municipalities with COVID related expenses.

“So we’re going to wait and see how we can use that money,” he said. “But it will all get allocated at the Dec. 1 meeting because we have to spend it by Dec. 31 or send it back to the state.”