Seattle-based Ezell’s Famous Chicken, which includes a Kent location, in partnership with DoorDash will offer grants to 20 Black-owned businesses and organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
The company’s co-founders Lewis and Darnell Rudd, along with their sister Faye Stephens and DoorDash, has launched the Rudd’s R.U.B.B. (Raising Up Black Businesses) initiative, designed to financially empower Black-owned businesses, according to an Aug. 30 Ezell’s media release.
Rudd’s R.U.B.B. is offering no-strings-attached to help fund sustainability, operations, growth and success. There will be eight additional grants (President’s Choice Awards), including a President’s Choice Award grantee from the Spokane and Portland areas. The President’s Choice grantees will be announced along with the grantees selected through the application process.
“The Russ’s R.U.B.B.initiative will have a very positive impact on small Black-owned businesses that will lead to positive change within the community,” Lewis Rudd said in a media release. “As co-founders, we believe that supporting and promoting entrepreneurship will help in closing the wealth gap for African Americans and lead to other benefits such as better medical and education and less violence. The initial response and support has been great and we anticipate it will continue to grow.”
This initiative was created by Lewis Rudd, CEO of Ezell’s, which has been in business for 37 years and operates 17 locations in Washington and Oregon. Rudd approached DoorDash with his idea and forged a partnership that led to the company joining the endeavor as a charter partner, donating $40,000 to start the fund. The Rudd family contributed $10,000 to the fund.
In addition to DoorDash, Rudd’s R.U.B.B. is reaching out to a select group of corporate entities to join the initiative as partners in prosperity, which will create an opportunity to grow the fund and increase the program’s reach with a goal of doubling the number of businesses this project can help. Other current partners in prosperity include, Sysco, PepsiCo and Bargreen Ellingson.
Business grant awards will be distributed based on a combination of an application process, direct recommendations and working through Black business-serving organizations to determine awardees. Each awardee must fulfill pre-established criteria.
Ezell’s Kent location is at 25616 102nd Ave. SE.