1Awards Trophy in Spotlight

​The FirstOntario 1Awards are back!

Have you been in business for at least two years? Are you looking to step up your game? Consider FirstOntario’s 1Awards!

What started as a way to simply recognize local, talented, hard-working entrepreneurs has become an annual celebration of the businesses that make our communities unique.

The 1Awards continues to put a spotlight on the small business landscape 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.


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 1Awards is backed by an impressive team of community partners who act as judges in the competition and who provide the services 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 can walk away with thousands of dollars in cash and/or in-kind services that specialize in marketing, advertising, accounting, legal practices and finance.

Together with our partners, we’ve invested more than $1.3 million into our small business communities.

Good luck to all of this year’s Hamilton/Halton/Brant finalists! 

Find out more details about this year's competition.