We choose the place we live in for various reasons:
- It’s our hometown
- It’s where the action is
- It’s close to home
- We have a community there
But would you move somewhere you wouldn’t otherwise have considered if they were paying you to move there?
Lesser chosen locations are taking advantage of the increase of employees with the flexibility to live anywhere and enticing them to leave their bustling metropolitan cities with a high cost of living for something quieter and slower and at a lower cost…and they’re offering money in exchange.
Why would cities be offering people money to move?
So many reasons but they all point to economic infusion. Bringing more people to a city means new customers, new renters, new home buyers, new investors, and new business owners and long-term, it even means businesses may relocate and industry will grow.
So where does the money reside? Who’s giving you cash to move?
The State of Vermont offering money for people to move The Remote Worker Grant offered $10,000 to remotes relocating to the area. I did say “offered” in past-tense. As of last year, the fund was fully allocated but keep them on your radar in case they get more funding.
Home of revitalized Black Wall St. and Hanson (MMM Bop!), Tulsa, Oklahoma is enticing remote workers to become residents for a year through the Tulsa Remote Program. People accepted into the program receive $10,000 paid in monthly installments, unless you purchase a house in which case, the full $10,000 is paid out. Tulsa Remoters also receive free membership to a multi-location coworking space and renters receive discounts on rent at multiple apartment complexes.
The city of Natchez, Mississippi is offering $2,500 in relocation expenses and $300 per month for a year, which equates to just over $6,000. The Shift South Program requires the purchase of a home valued at least at $150,000 in Natchez or Adams County.
Northwest Arkansas (think Ozark but not so seedy or money laundering-y) launched a Life Works Here initiative offering $10,000 to remote workers to move there for a year. People accepted in the program also get $600 to purchase a bicycle (I had no idea bicycles cost that much!). Apparently, competition is tight for this one, as they received more than 26,000 applicants.
The Remote Shoals program is seeking remote workers or self-employed people who make at least $52,000 per year to move to the Shoals region which includes Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. These may be small towns, but they’re only a 2-hour drive to Memphis and Nashville and a 1-hour flight to Atlanta. The proximity to some bigger cities and the $10,000 cash they give you make this an attractive option as well.
If remotes join the Choose Topeka program and move to Topeka, Kansas for up to one year, they can receive up to $5,000 for renting and up to $10,000 for buying a home. There’s also an additional $1,000 bonus from Jimmy Johns if you move within one of their delivery zones. That’s a lot of sandwiches (delivered crazy fast).
Ascend West Virginia is currently taking applications for remote workers to move to the city of Morgantown in exchange for $12,000 cash. The program also offers other benefits including membership to a co-working space, professional development classes and certifications, and free outdoor activities (white water rafting, downhill skiing). Next year, applications will open up for two other cities in West Virginia as well. The $12,000 is paid in monthly installments and remotes can receive an additional $2,000 for staying a 2nd year.
Michigan isn’t offering cash in hand but they are offering $15,000 towards to purchase of a home for remotes who move to Southwest Michigan through the Move to Michigan initiative (specific zip codes required). They’re also offering the choice of two ala carte benefits that include rail passes, car service, co-working space membership and golf club memberships.
Makemymove.com maintains an updated list of relocation incentive programs for remote workers. You can get on their email list for updates.
My daughter is graduating from high school in just over a month. Since we got back from our year abroad in 2017, my plan has always been to travel indefinitely when she graduates. I saw myself moving to Colombia for three months, then maybe to Spain for a month, and then possibly to Ghana for six months.
I am packing up my house to leave Atlanta on June 30th, but it won’t be to move out of the country as originally planned. At least not yet. Instead, I’ll be taking my talents to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a year!
I have to say, i would never have expected that I’d be moving to Tulsa of all places. I had never even visited before I went to look at apartments and houses for the first time in February! Every time I tell someone I’m moving to Tulsa, they screw up their face and say “TULSA!! WHY??” and I reply “no one’s paying me to stay here 🤷🏾♀️”.
I’ll write more detail about Tulsa and the program in another post, but I have to say, it reminds me of the mid-size city I grew up in. Not a big city, not a small town, and on the verge of growth. I too am on the verge of growth.