Alex Ruiz recently joined ESDC as the Director of Small Business.  He transitioned from his role as Community Lending Manager at Accion Chicago (now Allies for Community Business), where he managed a team of lenders in various Chicago neighborhoods such as Pilsen, Little Village, and Midway. He is responsible for the generation of leads, referral partner relationships and community outreach, while providing access to capital and business coaching to entrepreneurs. Alex was also a branch manager at a community bank with over 10 years of banking experience. In addition to working with entrepreneurs to spur economic development, he is also a licensed Real Estate Broker. His responsibilities also include reviewing business leases and assisting local business owners with their business plans.