Sara White, of Catonsville, and a few friends met up to help clear another friend's long driveway after about a foot of snow covered the area Thursday. (Lauren Loricchio/Baltimore Sun Media Group video)

Snow is causing complications for Catonsville area businesses that have been forced to close due to the weather conditions, while residents are trying to stay inside and off the roads until the winter storm passes.

A National Weather Service winter storm warning will remain active until 5 a.m. Friday.  The heavy snowfall is expected to taper off by late morning and will pick up again late this afternoon, the National Weather Service website said. 

Baltimore County public school officials made the decision to close schools today, which might draw a favorable reaction from students.

However, most business owners don't feel the same way.

Wayne McDowell, owner of McDowell's Complete Chimney Service in Lansdowne, said his business will be closed today.  

His company has lost about 10 percent of their revenue this year due to winter storms, McDowell said.  

"The snow shuts our business down for liability reasons," McDowell said.

McDowell said his chimney sweep service requires men to climb on ladders, which becomes dangerous in wintry weather.  

"I don't want to risk men's lives being on a ladder," he said.  

McDowell is optimistic that Spring will bring more business because people are using their fireplaces and wood stoves more often due to the cold weather.

Atwater's Naturally Leavened Bread Bakery and Cafe in Catonsville closed its doors today because staff couldn't get to work this morning due to the hazardous driving conditions, said owner Ned Atwater.  

He's at their production facility located at Whittington Avenue in Morrell Park, shoveling snow and making sure bread is baked for when they re-open tomorrow.  

In Lansdowne, Corner Florist owner Jackie Jones, is filling orders for her busiest day of the year -- Valentine's Day.  

Jones had one of her employees spend the night at the store on Hammonds Ferry Road, so she wouldn't have to make the drive from Pasadena. 

"We're not doing deliveries today because it's just not safe," Jones said.  

Snow is also bad news for business at Bill's Music House on Frederick Road, said Jamie Reese, daughter of Bill Higgins, 71, who owns the store. 

"It's a massive expense," Reese said Wednesday morning.

Snow means the store will be forced to cancel music lessons, which means lost revenue, Reese said.  

"We're usually open in most conditions. But if we get what is predicted, we will probably be closed, which is rare for us," Reese said.

"We're buying tons of ice melt and will make sure we have our shovels ready," Reese said before the storm hit.