On August 30, Ezell’s Famous Chicken announced a new program called Rudd’s R.U.B.B. (Raising Up Black Businesses) Initiative, which will dole out thousands of dollars in no-strings-attached grant money to 20 Black-owned enterprises in the Pacific Northwest.
Ezell’s co-founder Lewis Rudd created the program, and DoorDash signed on as a partner, helping to launch the fund with a $40,000 donation (the Rudd family added an additional $10,000). R.U.B.B. hopes to add more partners soon, and is currently accepting applications for the grants through Sept. 20, 2021.
Now in its 37th year, Ezell’s knows all too well the barriers Black-owned businesses can face. “I’ve faced systemic racism and redlining and flat-out racism and have been denied access to capital,” Lewis Rudd said in a statement about the initiative. “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.”