U.S. Cities and States Incentivizing Remote Workers - featured image

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U.S. Cities & States Incentivizing Remote Workers

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The COVID-19 pandemic completely changed the way millions of companies operate, and one of the biggest game-changers was the rapid adoption of remote work. Even now, several months into this forced experiment, it’s still too early to evaluate the full effects of widespread telecommuting.

However, one of the ways in which remote work could benefit both individuals and communities is by leveling the playing field. Specifically, remote work enables smaller communities to have access to larger investments, and, therefore, better local job opportunities for their residents.

As a result, some local and state governments have implemented programs to prepare residents and companies for the digital economy. Below, in alphabetical order, we’ve listed the government programs we found that could benefit telecommuters — from remote work courses to monetary incentives for relocation.

Baltimore, Md.

 

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Live Baltimore is offering a reduction in upfront costs for people looking to buy a home in the city. Its Buying Into Baltimore program is part of the Trolley Tour event, which is designed to familiarize homebuyers with Baltimore’s real estate market. The program will award down payment assistance to 20 participants, who will be selected by lottery.

Harmony, Minn.

People looking to relocate to Harmony — including telecommuters and digital nomads — could receive a cash rebate between $5,000 and $12,000 for building a new home, with the final rebate being based on estimated market value. Essentially, this incentive would provide an influx of cash to kickstart your remote work lifestyle while also joining a tightly knit community of around 1,000 residents.

Lincoln, Kan.

Lincoln benefits from affordable housing and a low cost of living, and it’s also the ninth-best city in the Midwest for women working in STEM. Plus, if you’re looking to enjoy the city’s suburban feel and walkability, you can also apply for a free lot (up to 36,000 square feet) for your future home. The city also runs a property tax rebate program that may offer further benefits, as well.

New Richland, Minn.

Several 86’ by 133’ lots in New Richland are available for free — as long as you pay the development costs and build a new home within one year of receiving the grant. New Richland is a small a city with around 1,200 residents and is located 75 miles south of Minneapolis-Saint Paul. As such, it’s sure to welcome any telecommuters looking to work away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities.

North Platte, Neb.

 

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In an effort to support local companies and encourage potential residents to relocate, North Platte devised a program that matches local companies’ investments of up to $5,000 per position. In particular, the worker incentive package can cover relocation costs for telecommuters moving to North Platte; assist with down payments or student loans; or be used for training certificates required for remote work.

The Shoals

Florence, Alabama

O’Neal Bridge over the Mississippi River, Florence, Ala.

Made up of the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia, The Shoals benefits from its location between major cities like Atlanta, Nashville and Memphis. What’s more, freelancers and other remote workers interested in moving here may be eligible to receive a $10,000 cash grant in three installments.

Topeka, Kan.

Topeka, Kansas

The capitol building in Topeka, Kan.

The Choose Topeka pilot program, which was launched in 2020, encourages employers in Kansas’ capital city to bring talent into the county by matching their investments. Approximately 50 new residents will be able to receive performance-based incentives toward rental agreements or the purchase or rehabilitation of a home.

Tulsa, Okla.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Okla.

Remote workers looking to relocate to Tulsa may be eligible to receive $10,000 upfront, as well as a monthly stipend. Tulsa also has an affordable cost of living, in addition to being a green-oriented city thanks to its rapid growth in environmentally focused occupations.

Utah

 

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Utah’s Rural Online Initiative provides certificate courses for a smooth transition from working on-site to becoming a digital nomad. The goal is to make the economic advantages available to residents of rural areas, while also allowing companies to tap into the potential of the local workforce.

Vermont

 

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Through its Remote Worker Grant Program, Vermont offered remote workers the possibility to be reimbursed for some of their expenses — such as the cost of relocating to the state, as well as the acquisition of software or hardware necessary for telecommuting — with up to $5,000 per year for up to two years. Notably, as of January 2020 (prior to the pandemic completely changing the environment for remote work), the program had awarded all of its available funds, but the possibility of additional funding is being considered.

Whether you’re already working remotely or only now looking to become a telecommuter, choosing one of the places on this list will certainly give you a head start.

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