Craving a Location Change? These 10 U.S. Cities Offer Perks If You Move There
Nikki Carter is a writer and editor who's been published on Business Insider, Skillshare and more. She's created content for clients in health care, tech and other industries.
The pandemic didn't create remote work, but it certainly increased the number of jobs that offered the flexibility of working from home—and there's no turning back now.
Over the next year, the number of remote jobs is projected to further increase, making it clear that a lot of people will have the ability to settle into their home offices. It also means that for a lot of workers, "home" can be anywhere and not just the city in which a specific company is located.
That's a big game-changer! When the whole world is truly your oyster, how can you decide where to go?
Enter: Cities that are offering incentives to draw remote workers to work, play and build their lives there. At first, there were only a couple of cities paying people to pack up and move, but now there are lots of options across the country.
Curious about where you might get paid to make a geographical change? Without further ado, let's dive right into the cities themselves!
Related: How to Get a Job Before You Move
10 U.S. Cities That Offer Perks For Remote Workers To Move There
1. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Perks Offered: Tulsa Remote is one of the most well-known programs of its kind. Participants receive $10,000 to relocate to Tulsa for at least one year, as well as a membership to a coworking space, invites to community-oriented events and local discounts.
Highlights: Compared to other metro areas, Tulsa is still at a modest size. Residents enjoy comparatively affordable housing rates, numerous museums and views of historic art deco style buildings. Notably, Tulsa's riverfront Gathering Place represents a $465-million private investment meant to create a fun, outdoor spot for locals and tourists alike.
2. Natchez, Mississippi
Perks Offered: Shift South, a program encouraging remote workers to move to Natchez or Adams County at large, offers $6,000 to relocate to the small Mississippi county. All participants must commit to buying a home for at least $150,000 and staying in the Natchez area for one year in order to qualify for the program.
Highlights: Natchez is a charming small city best known for being on the Mississippi River and its namesake, the Natchez Indians. Residents can take scenic drives along the Natchez Trace Parkway, tour historic mansions or visit sacred indigenous sites to learn more about local history.
3. Paducah, Kentucky
Perks Offered: Paducah's Remote Worker Incentive Program wants to attract talented remote workers to live in Kentucky. If you're approved, you'll receive relocation assistance, an internet allowance, a local tax waiver and discounted access to a variety of cultural and educational resources.
Highlights: A small town with good school options if you have children, Paducah is called "The Quilt City" and is even home to the National Quilt Museum! Because of its rich history with quilts, in 2013 UNESCO named Paducah a "City of Crafts and Folk Art." Paducah is also halfway between St. Louis and Nashville, meaning you're in a prime location for some great weekend trips.
4. Ketchikan, Alaska
Perks Offered: Choose Ketchikan offers new residents a $2,000 payment after their first year of living in Ketchikan, as well as up to three months of free internet and connections to local realtors who can help you find a place to live. The city highlights its clean air, small size and lack of sales tax as other perks for program participants.
Highlights: Alaska is an exciting place to live for nature lovers, and Ketchikan is no exception. The city is close to the Misty Fjords National Monument and the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, and opportunities to see wildlife abound. Ketchikan is also known for its abundance of totem poles throughout city limits.
5. Topeka, Kansas
Perks Offered: Choose Topeka has two options: on-site and remote. On-site applicants work for employers who participate in the Choose Topeka program and can receive various benefits, including an employer-match, after moving to Shawnee County and purchasing or renting a home within a year after moving. Remote workers, on the other hand, receive up to $5,000 toward renting or $10,000 toward buying in the first year of living in Shawnee County.
Highlights: Topeka is the capital city of Kansas and is also where the historic Brown v. Board of Education case originated, resulting in the landmark decision that segregation in schools is unconstitutional. Residents can visit the Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Park, the state's Capitol building or take in some nature at some of the city's gardens.
6. Bemidji, MN
Perks Offered: With three different application processes, 218 Relocate has benefits for remote workers, new residents and people who want to move to the city but don't work remotely. Each offers different incentives. For example, remote workers can expect free internet, coworking memberships, networking opportunities and professional support.
Highlights: First-timers to Bemijidi have to check out the larger-than-life Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues. The city takes pride in being the first established on the Mississippi River and is home to a state park you can visit to hike or boat, a local theater that puts on community plays and a spate of cute eateries and breweries.
7. Rochester, New York
Perks Offered: Greater ROC Remote has one of the most generous programs out there, with up to $19,000 in benefits, including a $10,000 relocation incentive and up to $9,000 to help participants buy a home in the city. As with the other initiatives, you'll also be plugged into the local remote work community.
Highlights: Rochester is located in upstate New York, about 5.5 hours from New York City. The city sits on Lake Ontario and is called the "front door" to the Finger Lakes region, meaning that if you love water, hills, and seasons, you're in luck. There are also a ton of wineries, art museums and chances to goof around, thanks to the Strong National Museum of Play.
8. Bloomington, Indiana
Perks Offered: Bloomington Remote participants receive a three-year coworking membership, help relocating and connections to both the remote work community in Bloomington and local leaders in different industries.
Highlights: Home to Indiana University, Bloomington is a bustling city with wineries, lakes and farmer's markets. If you're into college sports and the sense of camaraderie that can accompany rooting for the home team, Bloomington might be a great fit for you!
9. The Shoals, Alabama
Perks Offered: Remote Shoals is looking for people who want to relocate to Northwest Alabama. If you meet certain requirements and apply, you'll be rewarded with $10,000 through the course of the program and, of course, access to the local creative and remote work community.
Highlights: The Shoals is a broad term for the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia. Living in the Shoals gives you options between these four different areas and means you're in close proximity to Birmingham, Nashville and Memphis. Residents of this area enjoy a relatively low cost of living compared to most big cities.
10. West Virginia (multiple cities)
Population: 1.807 million (statewide)
Perks Offered: Ascend West Virginia is drawing remote workers to different cities throughout West Virginia and offering up to $12,000 total to people who move and stay 1-2 years. You'll also get a year's worth of free outdoor activities, a membership to a coworking space and invitations to social events.
Highlights: West Virginia is a beautiful state with a low cost of living. If you live there, you'll be surrounded by forests and have access to practically every outdoor activity you've wanted to try. You'll also get to say you live in the true birthplace of bluegrass music!
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