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Spotlight Shining on 1Awards Trophy

Win and share $200,000 in prizes!

2024 1Awards finalists will be announced soon.


FirstOntario 1Awards applications are being reviewed

FirstOntario and 1Awards partners are kicking off year 12 of supporting the small businesses that make all our communities unique and the hardworking entrepreneurs who are committed to long-term success.

This year’s competition offers $200,000 in prizes – $25,000 in cash and $175,000 in professional services – to eligible businesses. Finalists will move onto the second round where they will pitch their passion to our panel of judges who will decide the prizes for the winning businesses.

Have you been in business for more than two years? Are you headquartered in Hamilton, Halton, Brant, Niagara or surrounding areas with a maximum of 50 employees? Can you demonstrate your commitment to your community?

Thanks to everyone who took the time to apply. 1Awards partners are carefully evaluating all of the submissions. Finalists will be notified soon.

Important Dates


March 1 to April 1

Applications open

Two Speech Bubbles

April 25

Interactive workshop with The Thornton Group for finalists


May 9

Presentation day at Tim Hortons Field


May 22

Winner reveal at breakfast gala


There's more to win than just cash

Think about how you can benefit from all the great prizes the 1Awards offers – not just cash. Professional in-kind services are provided by 1Awards partners, who are local experts with valuable insight and experience.

Agro Zaffiro LLP

Get assistance with commercial leases, real estate purchases, employee contracts, handbooks and workplace policies.

Get advice on corporate and employment law matters, healthy and safety directives, human rights and accommodations of employees, terminations, layoffs, WSIB, statutory leaves and work from home policies.


Take advantage of specialized support with marketing, communications, digital strategies and web design.


Receive a digital transformation of workforce operations management. Digitize processes, capture data from frontline workers for safety, quality, maintenance, compliance, continuous improvement and training. Manage workflows and automate real-time reporting.


Get assistance in identifying government grant programs, incentives and how federal and provincial tax rules might affect you and your business. Get a business model review to help identify initiatives to support your objectives.

Giant Shoe Creative

Work with experts in digital media production to articulate and deliver your message to a growing audience.

Mohawk Centre for Entrepreneurship

Enjoy access to Surge Mentorship, Mohawk services and merchandise, podcast and broadcast services, badging program and micro-centre services through the Agency and the Consultancy.

The Hamilton Spectator

Be seen with a comprehensive advertising package to promote your business.

Think about your perfect pitch!

Finalists get 15 minutes plus a quick question and answer period to make your application come to life.

Tell the judges who you are and what you love to do!

Use numbers, examples and samples to show what you’ve already accomplished.

Explain what you need to keep going and how the 1Awards prizes can help.

Proudly show your dedication to your community!

Thank you to everyone who applied

Take a look at our incredible previous winners and their unique businesses.

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