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Maurizio’s Dining set for Cambridge’s Small Business Saturday open to all



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The annual Small Business Saturday roadshow is due in Cambridge on November 26 on a mission to showcase, celebrate and interview independent businesses, leaders, and experts from across the small business community.

Small Business Saturday electric vehicle fleet (52946586)
Small Business Saturday electric vehicle fleet (52946586)

Business owners across the UK will also be able to take part in a month-long, jam-packed online programme of free training and skills support that will run alongside the event, including virtual workshops, webinars and mentoring on a range of small business topics. A ‘Happy Hour’ giveaway will also take place with prizes from local small businesses.

Having set off from the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, ‘The Tour’ has a strong focus on sustainability to highlight the critical role small businesses play in helping the UK become net zero. It features a fleet of zero emissions vehicles – including an electric van, car, and scooter, as well as a ‘delivery style’ push bike – to reflect the sustainable switches many small businesses are making or considering.

“We are so excited to get back on the road,” said Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday, “and put the spotlight on fantastic small businesses in Cambridge and across the country, as well as opening up skills and networking opportunities to millions of entrepreneurs online.

“I would encourage all small businesses across the East of England to get involved, whether it is in person or digitally.”

Sweet and Maurizio D’Apollonio at Maurizio Dining Co on Mill Road. Picture: Keith Heppell
Sweet and Maurizio D’Apollonio at Maurizio Dining Co on Mill Road. Picture: Keith Heppell

Once again supported by BT Skills for Tomorrow, The Tour will visit 21 towns and cities this month as part of the countdown to Small Business Saturday on December 4.

Chris Sims, BT’s managing director for its SoHo (Single/Small office, Home office) unit, said: “The Tour is a fantastic initiative to reach out and support small businesses with the digital skills they need as they look to scale up in key areas such as digital marketing and sustainability, and we are delighted to be supporting it again this year.”

Now in its ninth year, Small Business Saturday has gone from strength to strength. Last year was a record-breaking success, with £1.1bn spent with UK small businesses on the day, according to research from American Express, the campaign’s UK founder and principal supporter.

One of the 100 small businesses selected to represent the best of the small business community is Maurizio’s Dining & Co which is based on Mill Road. Maurizio’s is run by Maurizio and Sweet D’Apollonio.

“We’ve been invited to the House of Lords on November 29 for a reception with the other 99 representatives,” says Sweet D’Apollonio, one half of the husband-and-wife team who runs Maurizio’s Dining, which opened in 2017. “Small Business Saturday is a not-for-profit to celebrate small business success and encourage people to shop locally, and it goes across the UK. We’re very excited to be recognised as part of it – anything we can do to promote Mill Road is a bonus for the community here as well.”

Maurizio Dining & Co (47874660)
Maurizio Dining & Co (47874660)

Small Business Saturday has a Facebook page, with live broadcasts going out during the tour.

“There’s a Facebook Live pizza-making demonstration on Friday, November 26,” Sweet says. “Our slot is at 1.20pm so you can follow us at @Mauriziosdining on Facebook for that.

“Then, on November 27, usually it’s Mill Road Fair and we’d be part of that. Sadly this year it’s not going to happen so we’ll be getting some carol singers in from our local church to sing and we’re hoping to do a cork curtain-making workshop as we save a lot of corks – thousands, bucketloads – from our customers, so we’re offering mulled wine.

“We’ve also been fundraising for Cambridge Sustainable Food – Maurizo recenly raised over £1,000 at the Cambridge Half-Marathon so they’ll be in to showcase some of the work they’ve been doing.

“We’re working towards an environmental award with the Small Business Saturday environmental awards scheme. They’re supporting us to get gold, silver or bronze recognition depending on how eco-friendly we are after they’ve carried out an audit: it’s to support more local businesses to become more sustainable and address issues at grassroots level.”

Post-pandemic the restaurant went own to 30 covers, and started a delivery service.

“The delivery service has grown gradually every month,” says Maurizio of the delivery service, which is available via Deliveroo, Just Eat and Foodstuffs.

Details on how to participate on Small Business Saturday here.



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