Several 1Award Trophies Cascading into Background

​1Awards Update

1Awards and COVID-19

We’ve been thinking a lot about our local businesses. Due the impact of COVID-19 and what is happening right now, we have decided to postpone the Hamilton/Halton/Brant 1Awards until the fall and the Niagara 1Awards until 2021.

Please click on the links for more details. Take care out there, we know health and safety is everyone’s first priority.

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 and Niagara regions by offering cash and in-kind services as a means to help businesses thrive – not just survive. New this year – we would like to welcome Brantford businesses to apply for the Hamilton/Halton/Brant 1Awards!


To be eligible for the 1Awards, 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 on to the next round where business owners pitch their ideas about future success in a fun and informal setting.

Winners walk away with thousands of dollars in cash or in-kind services that specialize in marketing, accounting, legal practices, finance and business planning.

Together with our partners, we’ve invested more than $1.3 million into the Hamilton, Halton and Niagara small business communities.

Niagara ​1Awards

We’ll be back in 2021!

Hamilton/Halton/Brant 1Awards

Applications will open in the fall of 2020!