The whole of Southwest Florida hasn’t seen a genuinely new community bank open its doors in more than a decade. But directors for Gulfside Bank plan to change that this fall. Dennis Murphy, Gulfside Bank president and CEO, in March announced plans to obtain a state charter and open before the end of 2018. The bank came out of the gate with an all-star board of directors that includes Tervis CEO Rogan Donelly, Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation CEO Teri Hansen and Michael Saunders & Company President Drayton Saunders. Tim Clarke, Gulfside Bank board chairman, says there’s a hunger for Gulfside Bank right now. “Community banks have basically gone away, but they are the heartbeat of economic well-being and are so important for success to a small town,” he says. And Murphy says a new bank will be good for business on the Gulf Coast as a whole. “Community banks make almost 50 percent of total loans to small and mid-size businesses, despite controlling 18 percent of deposits,” he says. “It’s a disproportionate level of support compared to the national and regional banks that are focused on Wall Street as opposed to Main Street.” At a time when the regulatory and tax landscape looks more positive than it did pre-Great Recession, he says the time has come for local lending to return. The arrival closes a tumultuous era for banking in the region. In the late 2000s, Sarasota-Manatee served as headquarters to 17 banks. Once the sale of Premier Community Bank to National Commerce Corp. goes through, the region will house just one community bank, Sabal Palm Bank in Sarasota.  Murphy’s history in banking in the region spans through the times of challenge and into triumph. He served as a senior loan officer at Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida under CEO Shaun Merriman, working at the community bank from 2008, as it weathered the recession, through May 2017, when the successful institution merged into CenterState Bank. He worked at CenterState Bank as a senior vice president and area executive for the Sarasota region before leaving the institution last October. While the region has seen more acquisitions than charters lately, that should change as soon as Gulfside Bank secures its approval from the state and FDIC. Murphy has a list of 400 things to do from now until then, including housekeeping tasks like renovating the old Insignia Bank headquarters on Orange Avenue, but his top priorities for now remain raising capital and navigating the charter process.