1Awards Trophy in Spotlight

​The Hamilton/Halton/Brant 1Awards

They're back! Helping small businesses steer forward.

Congratulations to the 2021 Hamilton/Halton/Brant 1Awards finalists!

After receiving an impressive amount of top-notch applications, our committee partners evaluated each one and narrowed it down to 10 local businesses that are moving onto the next round!

Here are they are! Select each finalist to learn more.

The competition will proceed in a virtual format where these local businesses will pitch for a chance to win and share in $126,500 in cash ($25,000) and professional, in-kind services ($101,500).

Thank you to everyone who applied!

We recognize this has been a difficult time of unpredictable change. Many entrepreneurs have had to adapt, refocus and even reinvent their business because of the pandemic.

FirstOntario and 1Awards partners want to support their passion, innovation and their drive to thrive.

Important Dates

Hands Cradling Building Block

April 30

Finalists are invited to virtual workshop to prepare for pitches

Two Overlapping Speech Bubbles

May 11 - May 12

Presentation day (15 minutes and brief Q&A period)

Our partners include Agro Zaffiro LLP, KPMG, PLAY, The Hamilton Spectator, Mohawk College, Giant Shoe Creative and The Thornton Group. Additional sponsors include Global Payments and the Brantford, Hamilton and Oakville Chambers of Commerce.

Our partners contribute to the cash prize and they provide valuable services and expertise to 1Awards winners that are based on each business’s needs. The support is offered both as reward for current successes and as an investment into future goals and achievements.

What's in a pitch?

Make your application come to life! Judges want to hear who you are and what you do. Share your vision, your brand and where you want to be. Use numbers and examples to show your previous successes.

Tell them how COVID-19 has affected your business, what you need to keep going and how 1Awards prizes can help. Top it off with an explanation of how you are involved in making a difference in your community. Be creative with samples, props or photos – whatever shines a light on what you love to do.

There's more to win than just cash

Here are some more details about the in-kind services that are up for grabs.

Agro Zaffiro LLP

Assistance with commercial leases, commercial financing and re-financing transactions, real estate purchases, employee contracts and handbooks, workplace policies.

Advice regarding general corporate and employment law matters including shareholder and partnership agreements, health and safety directives, human rights/accommodation of employees, terminations/layoffs, WSIB, statutory leaves, work from home policies.


Review government programs including how to apply and how to prepare for related audits.

Assistance with post-pandemic business strategies.


Marketing, communication and digital strategies, web design and support.

Giant Shoe Creative Agency

Digital media production to articulate and deliver your message to your growing audience.

Good luck to all of this year’s finalists!

If you have any questions, please send an email to 1Awards@FirstOntario.com.

Our Partners

Agro Zaffiro LLP
Giant Shoe Creative Agency
The Hamilton Spectator
Mohawk College
The Thornton Group

Additional Sponsors

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce Brantford
Oavkille Chamber of Commerce
Global Payments