The past year proved that one remote work is here to stay. Many cities are taking advantage of that trend by offering incentives to remote workers who relocate to their communities. People in all industries no longer need to live in large expensive cities to make a living.
Instead, many are choosing to downsize to smaller towns and cities where the cost of living is more modest. Like those featured here, many cities want to sweeten the deal by offering special incentives, often in the form of cash. Check out four places that will pay remote workers to move there.
- Morgantown, West Virginia – $12,000+
- Topeka, Kansas – Up to $11,000
- Tulsa, Oklahoma – Up to $10,000
- The Shoals, Alabama – $10,000
1. Morgantown, West Virginia – $12,000+
John Denver may have been on to something when he penned his now-famous song about West Virginia. If you like country roads, mountains, and a small-town feel, moving to Morgantown could net your more than $20K in rewards.
The state initiative called Ascend WV encourages remote workers to move to Morgantown and call the mountain state home.
Why Should You Move to Morgantown?
According to My Move, Morgantown has a livability score of 77/100. The cost of living is 8.3% less than the national average. For example, the average rent is $777, and the average price of a single-family home is $315,694.
With a population of 87,000, the city is no small town. Morgantown is bustling with restaurants, shops, music venues, a major University, nightlife, and ample outdoor recreation opportunities.
|$12,000 cash: $10,000 in the first year, $2,000 after the second yearTwo years of free outdoor gear rentals (a $2,500+ value, according to the program) Free coworking spaceSocial events|
|18+ years old and U.S. citizenMust not currently live in West VirginiaCan work remotely full-time with a company not located in West Virginia|
Learn More: Ascend West Virginia
2. Topeka, Kansas – Up to $11,000
Dorothy isn’t in Kansas anymore, but for $11,000, you can be! Choose Topeka offering the incentive to remote workers who are employed outside of Shawnee County.
Incentives increase for applicants who intend to purchase a home rather than rent. There is a waiting period for remote workers and options for on-site workers whose employers participate in the program.
Why Should You Move to Topeka?
According to My Move, Topeka has a livability score of 60/100. The cost of living is 11% less than the national average. Home prices are low, averaging just $294,084. There is also a vibrant art scene, and the city is home to 18 museums and 92 city parks.
|Options for remote and on-site workers Relocation expenses up to $5,000 for renters; Up to $10,000 for a home purchaseGet an extra $1,000 if you relocate to one of Jimmy John’s three delivery zones|
|Remote workers: your employer must be located outside of Shawnee CountyOn-site workers: must confirm that your employer participates in the Choose Topeka relocation incentiveOne relocation incentive per householdEligible to work in the U.S.|
Learn More: Choose Topeka
3. Tulsa, Oklahoma – Up to $10,000
According to the Tulsa Remote website, nearly 1,000 people have already accepted the remote work grant and become new community members. Applicants have up to a year to move to Tulsa and must meet all of the eligibility requirements.
The benefits include $10,000 in cash paid out in installments over the first year. You’ll get money to help you relocate, a small stipend for the first few months, and the balance after you have lived in Tulsa for one year.
Participants also get access to a free co-working space in downtown Tulsa.
Why Should You Move to Tulsa?
“It’s been a blessing. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I think I’ve made more friends this year during a pandemic than any other time (in my life),” says Dr. Lindsay Marvel, who moved to Tulsa from New York City at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
|$10,000 cash in the first yearFree coworking space|
|Full-time remote employment or self-employed outside of Oklahoma18+ years oldEligible to work in the U.S.Can move to Tulsa within the 2021 calendar year|
Website: Tulsa Remote
4. The Shoals, Alabama – $10,000
The Shoals is located along the Tennessee River in northwestern Alabama. The region occupies two counties, Colbert and Lauderdale, and features several small towns and rural townships, including Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, Tuscumbia, and Florence.
The Remote Shoals initiative offers $10,000 to remote workers with a minimum yearly income of $52,000 to help grow the area. Once selected, applicants must move to the area within six months.
Why Should You Move to The Shoals?
Christina Gilbert moved to The Shoals from Los Angeles, California as a member of the Remote Shoals program. She describes The Shoals community as the highlight of her experience. She says “people genuinely care” about each other and that investing in the community by attending local events helps build a rapport that makes the area a hidden gem.
|$10,000 in the first year|
|Minimum yearly income of $52,000Can move within six monthsFull-time remote employment or self-employment outside of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties18+ years old and eligible to work in the U.S.|
Website: Remote Shoals