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Spotlight Shining on 1Awards Trophy

Congratulations to this year’s 1Awards winners!


More than a decade of small business support

The FirstOntario 1Awards continues to put a spotlight on small businesses in Hamilton, Halton, Brant, Niagara and surrounding areas by offering cash and in-kind services as a means to help businesses thrive – not just survive. This year’s prize pool consists of $200,000 – $25,000 in cash and $175,000 in professional services.


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 measurable 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 will 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, digital services, legal practices and finance.

Together with our partners, we’ve invested more than $2.1 million into our small business communities.


Learn more about this year’s winners!

Thanks to all the finalists for another exciting competition.

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2023 1Awards Winners

Celebrating small business support for local entrepreneurs

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