FirstOntario’s 1Awards competition, which is heading into its sixth year, is based on backing local businesses who make our communities unique. It’s about building relationships and supporting their dreams of future success and continuing to put these business owners in the spotlight- with $150,000 in cash and in-kind services up for grabs for those seen as a the best investment with community-focused plans.

The program opened up to Burlington business owners last year and in 2017, the 1Awards continue to expand as Oakville entrepreneurs are invited to compete. The second annual Niagara 1Awards competition gets underway this spring.

Applications are now being accepted for local entrepreneurs in Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville, who want to pitch their ideas on how to take their business to the next level.

The winners receive cash and in-kind services to help them execute their award-winning plans and the awards are allocated based on each businesses’ needs. In five years, FirstOntario Credit Union and 1Awards partners have invested more than $650,000 into Hamilton’s small business landscape. Our Hamilton partners include The Hamilton Spectator, Agro Zaffiro LLP, KPMG, Mohawk College, Weever Apps and PLAY Advertising who are all on board to support the awards which are valued at $150,000 this year.

Congratulations to the previous winners and good luck to this years applicants.

Visit 1Awards.ca  to apply now. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2017.
Winners will be announced at a breakfast gala on May 17th 2017. Stay tuned for more details about the event and the 2017 1Awards winners!

A big thank you to all of our 2017 partners for making the 1Awards a continued success!

2017 Hamilton 1Awards:

2016 1Awards Hamilton/Burlington Winners

From left to right, Blackbird Studios - Lynn Bebee & Kerry Wade, Gameopolis - Jessica Maurice & Nick Sheir, The Mustard Seed - Mary Lou Tanner, Graham Cubitt and Meg Makins.

Mustard Seed Co-op, a co-operative grocery store specializing in local fare, Blackbird Studios, a homemade designer label and Gameopolis, the city's first board game lounge, took home the prizes after a tough battle. The successful candidates were chosen from 41 entries and a group of 10 finalists presented to a judging committee in a Dragon’s Den-style setting before the three winners were chosen. 

2016 1Awards Niagara Winners

From left to right, Urge to Purge - Mark Melloni, Gastrónomo Vagabundo - Adam Hynan-Smith and Tamara Jensen, Tootzie's Tune-Up - Carmelina Lavigna and Gerri Saporito.

In Niagara, El Gastronomo Vagabondo (Peapod Cuisine), a mobile food truck that serves up gourmet cuisine, Tootzie's Tune-Up which offers a unique "hair and maintenance" experience for men and women and Urge to Purge, a decluttering service- came out on top as the first ever Niagara 1Awards winners out of a pool of 26 applicants.


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