Three Hamilton based businesses are being given a leg up to take their entrepreneurial pursuits to the next level.
The 1Awards competition has named Blackbird Studios, Mustard Seed Co-op and Gameopolis as the top three winners.
Together they will now share 150 thousand dollars in cash and in kind services.
In order to compete businesses had to be local and open for at least two years with measurable growth.
But First Ontario Credit Union’s James Lefebvre says the decision wasn’t just about the numbers.
“If you look at the Gameopolis story I think that it’s hard to not be inspired by that”
“Both of them were in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program growing up, both of them are fiercely committed to the downtown core, to having accessible space for people to come and do things as a family.”
Nick Shier, Co-owner of the board game cafe says they hope to expand.
“We want to hire more people, we want to be open on Mondays and open hours later”
“We’re also looking to open a larger location, we just get full too quickly.”
Fashion boutique, Black Bird studios is in a similar position.
The James Street North business has taken off.
The unique concept to completion women’s wear recently acquired a new production space at the Cotton Factory on Sherman.
Co-Owner Lynn Bebe says that’s not the only place this award will be put to use.
“Kerry and I are at a point of breaking out into the U.S. market and we actually need some not just financial support but we need some guidance to expand that business.”
First Ontario and first award partners have invested 650 thousand dollars over the last 5 years to help small, local businesses grow.