FirstOntario 1Awards gives $130,000

FirstOntario 1Awards gives $130,000

Congratulations to The Other Bird Restaurant Group, ProSensus Inc., Radius Restaurant, and SHG Studios, winners of FirstOntario Credit Union‘s fourth annual 1Awards, an initiative to help local small businesses take steps toward success.

FirstOntario Credit Union has chosen these four Hamilton businesses to split the $130,000 prize.

1Awards sponsors will also provide professional services to the winners. Sponsors include The Hamilton Spectator, Mohawk College, Agro Zaffiro LLP, KPMG, Weever Apps, and PLAY Advertising.

Erin Dunham, CEO of The Other Bird Inc, which operates an impressive lineup of restaurants including The Alex, Rapscallion, Two Black Sheep, Except for Kenneth, Black Sheep Snack Bar and The Mule, was among the winners.

“Our goal was to hire two much needed support staff and now we can hire one of them! It’s that awkward time in our growth when we need more help but can’t quite afford them, on account of the money going to the growth. The award money and the services (legal, advertising, and newspaper ads) will help us make big changes in our organization,” she said.

The 1Awards Breakfast Gala took place on Monday at Liuna Station where finalists presented their business plans and 2013 1Awards winner Martinus Geleynse of Ubanicity took the stage as guest speaker.

The 1Awards received 32 entries and narrowed it down to eight finalists who presented their business plans to the committee, consisting of FirstOntario staff and sponsor representatives.

Other finalists included Fortino’s Umbrella Inc., Genuine Bakery, ProFitHR, and Vitamingum Canada Inc.

Last year’s 1Awards winners were Daniel Hyams of Fermata Inc. and Luis Meza of Mezza Caffe.

“1Awards is a remarkable lens through which we see that entrepreneurship is very much alive and well in Hamilton,” said Dave Schurman, Chief Operating Officer of FirstOntario Credit Union, in a press release.  “It’s an important part of our values to support businesses that are taking it to the next level. They have a transformative impact on our community.”

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