CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – Local businesses have some bright ideas on how to keep people shopping local.

“We have a very robust online audience with our Facebook and Instagram pages and they come out to the events,” said Kathilynn Carpenter, Executive Director at the Sunrise Marketplace.

A laser light show is just one of the holiday-themed events taking place in the Sunrise Marketplace.

The business district includes more than 400 stores and the goal is to stop shoppers from driving to larger malls nearby.

“Anything that we do that drives footsteps, that brings people here [to] shop, is very important to the city,” she said.

They say it all comes down to creating a customer experience.

“It’s to get people who were out and about this time of year and experience, do something a little more. The events are free,” she added.

So just how crucial is shopping to the local economy?

Sales tax revenue is the single largest source of revenue for Citrus Heights, generating $12 million a year. That’s more than a third of the general fund.

“Sales tax is key to the city’s budget and it’s important that our residents shop local, so that we can keep investing in things like streets, public safety, and other essential services,” said city spokesperson Catherine Cooley.

There have been setbacks though. Sunrise Mall lost anchor tenant Sears and there are plenty of vacancies inside. But other areas of the district are seeing slow growth.

“When we do shop, we shop in Citrus Heights because…I don’t have to haul all the kids 20 to 30 minutes down the road,” said Deb Hutchings, mother of young children.

Local businesses are just trying to give shoppers a picture-perfect experience to keep dollars from drifting away.

For more information on how to keep up with local events, visit


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