Key West businesses are open and offering assorted specials, coupons and promotions through a Buy Local initiative launched by the Key West Chamber of Commerce. PAUL BRENNAN/Pixabay

The Key West Chamber of Commerce reports that sales tax collections in Monroe County were off by 54% in the tourism sector and 51% in the retail sector year-to-date through July. The figures provided an early indicator of the financial toll the COVID pandemic has taken on local businesses.

The Key West Chamber of Commerce and Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Company have teamed to promote a “Buy Local” campaign for Key West businesses during October.  The program features more than 100 coupons for discounts and special offers from small businesses in the Key West area.  Coupons are available via the Chamber website and can be printed or used electronically at the merchant locations.

“The COVID pandemic has been hard on our local small businesses and hard on residents alike. These businesses are the heart and soul of our community and they are on the ropes right now,” said Scott Atwell, CEO of the chamber. “This is a chance to create a win-win for business and the community by encouraging commerce that keeps our dollars at home.”

Brian Schmitt, president and broker of Coldwell Banker Schmitt, noted “We opened our first office in Marathon in 1955 and our White Street location has been serving the Key West community for many years. It’s important to us that we do everything we can to help sustain it.  We believe strongly in giving back and we’ve been dedicated to helping Keys residents whose critical needs are not being met through other means for over 18 years. Now, our agents and staff are excited to provide the support needed to promote this program so that it has the greatest impact possible for the businesses, while also creating value for the community.” 

“There are many unexplored opportunities in these coupons and I have no doubt this promotion will lead to many, new go-to favorites in our community,” said Atwell.

A list of participating businesses and their coupons is at  The promotion runs through Oct. 31.

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