Up to 110 new jobs may be coming to Oxford after a local company was cleared for up to $1.5 million in payroll rebates through Nova Scotia Business Inc.

Oxford Frozen Foods now has a five-year window to create the jobs in the community.

"We're excited," said Jordan Burkhardt, the director of human resources. "The company's competing at the world stage here in Nova Scotia."

The business development agency says it only approves rebates when the tax revenue generated is more than the amount spent on the rebate.

Oxford Frozen Foods will only receive a portion of the rebate money if fewer jobs are created, but Burkhardt says they have every intention of qualifying for the full rebate.  

"I don't know if the goal is just to reach 110, we want to continually grow and this rebate will allow us to invest in our operations."

Burkhardt says the company plans on creating "a vast number of jobs," from management right through all levels of the business. 

So far, there's just one job posting on the website for Oxford Frozen Foods, but Burkhardt says that will change in the coming weeks. He expects they'll need the full five years to take on 110 new employees. 

NSBI says Oxford Frozen Foods would spend an additional $18.7 million in salaries through the program.

The jobs will focus in expanding the company's value-added division and creating new products, but Burkhardt wouldn't specify what those products are because they don't want to tip off the competition. 

Job creation after cuts

At the end of last year, Hillaton Foods, a division of the company, cut 100 jobs — or the equivalent of 53 full time positions — when it closed the Annapolis Valley possessing plant.

The facility near Canning processed carrots for the North American market.

The company said it had to make the move after Environment Canada ordered it to stop discharging waste water into a nearby waterway.

Those who lost their jobs were encouraged to apply for work in Oxford. So far, Burkhardt is not aware if any of those who were laid off have applied, but he expects several will when new jobs are posted. 

This is the first time Oxford Frozen Foods has received a payroll rebate. Over the last decade, the company has taken out loans through provincial programs several times and paid them all off.