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Spotlight Shining on 1Awards Trophy

Celebrating another year of the 1Awards!

Thank you to all of the 2023 finalists.


More than a decade of small business support

The FirstOntario1Awards continues to put a spotlight on small businesses in the Hamilton, Halton, Brant and Niagara regions by offering cash and in-kind services as a means to help businesses thrive – not just survive.

This year, $200,000 in cash and in-kind services was on the line.

So who can apply exactly? Eligible businesses must have 50 employees or less and have been in business for at least 24 months. The business must demonstrate "measureable growth", such as workforce expansion, innovation and community impact.

The FirstOntario 1Awards is backed by our team of community partners who act as judges in the competition and who provide the services and expertise to the winners. A shortlist of applicants is selected to move to the next round where business owners pitch their ideas about future success in a fun and informal setting. Winners share the cash prize and in-kind services – determined by the judges – that specialize in marketing, advertising, accounting, legal practices and finance.

Together with our partners, we’ve invested more than $1.9 million into our small business communities.


Find out who this year's winners are!

Thank you to everyone who applied.

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2022 1Awards Winners

Celebrating small business support for local entrepreneurs

Take a look at the past winners of The FirstOntario 1Awards.