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Julio Moisa had a mid-life crisis of sorts a couple of years back. "I just got burned out," he said. "I needed to take a break."
It was a break from which the company is just now recovering.
Moisa had hired a president to run his Tampa trading company, Aqua Systems, which specializes in brokering deals between water purification system manufacturers in the United States and water authorities and municipalities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
But Moisa said the executive he hired didn't work out very well.
"I soon realized that he did not have the necessary experience," Moisa said. "And I didn't want to lose the company. So I got back in, put up more capital, and made some accounting changes."
By that time, however, the company, which generates $3.5 million in annual sales, had already racked up sizable losses, and its principal trade finance bank, the Bank of Tampa, had canceled its line of credit.
Moisa said the Bank of Tampa had agreed to sell out to AmSouth at the time - the deal was later called off - and AmSouth did not feel comfortable with assuming the risk of guaranteeing a line of credit to a company with mounting losses. "When AmSouth came on board it started changing the rules used to evaluate loans and we failed their new credit test," Moisa said.
For more than a year, Aqua Systems struggled on without bank financing.
Then, about four …