NEW ORLEANS -- The busiest shopping days of the year are upon us.

The holidays are make it or break it time for many local businesses, now battling it out for customers with big box stores and online retailers.

According to Forbes Magazine, this year for the first time, consumers are expected to do more than half of their holiday shopping on the internet.

Customers shopping on Magazine Street in New Orleans on Tuesday said it's important to support hometown businesses.

"It's very nice to have the convenience of something just shipped to your house if you know what it is," shopper Tierney Monahan said. "But, as far a like clothes and things like that I tend to shop local."

"I generally prefer being in the store just because you can see and feel sort of what you're buying," shopper Chuck Gordon said.

"The convenience of 27/7 online is definitely there, however to support the local economy I try to shop the mom and pop stores," shopper Rose Livingston said.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, local mom-and-pops are hoping for your business on Small Business Saturday and throughout the Holiday shopping season.

Actor Bryan Batt is co-owner of the premier gift shop Hazelnut on Magazine Street.

"When you go out shopping you get the personal interaction with the people in the store," Batt said. "You don't know who you're going to meet. You're not going to meet anybody while you're shopping on a website. Who knows, you might meet a great new friend. You might bump into someone you haven't seen in forever."

Many local retailers like the Garden District Book Store on Prytania are offering special incentives on Saturday.

"We are giving 10 percent off to anyone who comes in a shows us they already shopped at a small business on Saturday," Garden District Book Store manager Amy Loewy said.

Local business owners admit the shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are crucial, some of the most important shopping days of the year.

"It's probably our busiest time," Loewy said. "If people weren't shopping local, it would really effect us."

"This is where a lot of the smaller businesses make their year," Batt said. "So, it's important for everybody to go out and support local businesses."

Small business Saturday is this Saturday, Nov. 25, in New Orleans.