In 2018, Tulsa Remote, a program designed to draw remote workers to the city, was officially launched. The program infuses cash into the local economy without taking away any jobs from locals. And to incentivize new folks to make the move, Tulsa Remote offered some pretty impressive perks — like $10,000. And that's not to mention the lower cost of living as compared to some of the coastal metropolises.
While Tulsa couldn't have predicted that a pandemic would rock the world two years later, it turns out their business model is now a great one for other destinations to follow, too. "The pandemic has fundamentally shifted people's perceptions of remote work and significantly accelerated companies' adoption of remote work policies," Tusla Remote executive director Ben Stewart tells Hunker. "Since the onset of the pandemic, applications for Tulsa Remote have soared by 300%."
These days, quite a few places are offering deals to bring remote workers to town: here are seven such programs.
1. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa Remote is still going strong, offering that $10,000 grant to remote workers who spend at least a year living in the city. The program also offers a free membership to a coworking space, plus networking opportunities to help the new arrivals build a community.
"We also offer a wide variety of events for members focused on professional development, volunteerism, getting to know Tulsa and fostering friendships in their new town," says Stewart. "Since the pandemic hit, we have focused our programming on virtual and socially distant events to continue to grow a tight-knit community. We also have a Slack community for members that allows individuals to share local tips and connect virtually."
2. Savannah, Georgia
If you're in the tech industry, Savannah might be calling your name. The Savannah Technology Workforce Incentive is covering up to $2,000 in moving expenses for tech workers who are relocating to the city, whether you're remote, self-employed, or starting a job at a Savannah-based tech company.
3. Natchez, Mississippi
Remote workers can tap into $6,000 by moving to Natchez, Mississippi through the Shift South program, including $2,500 for moving costs and a $300-per-month stipend for one year. There is a bit of an asterisk here, though — you need to buy a house valued at $150,000 to be eligible for the cash.
4. The Shoals, Alabama
Located in northwest Alabama, the Shoals region includes the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia — all of which are approximately a two-hour drive from Birmingham, Nashville, and Memphis. If you earn at least $52,000 per year as a remote worker, you could be granted $10,000 for moving to the region through the Remote Shoals program.
5. Tucson, Arizona
Fed up with snow? Head to sunny Tucson, Arizona, where relocating remote workers can apply for $7,500 worth of incentives through Remote Tucson, from cash for moving expenses to a year of free internet to access to coworking spaces. Though applications for the program are currently closed, you can sign up to be notified when they reopen for the next round.
6. Topeka, Kansas
Through the Choose Topeka program, workers can relocate to Kansas with remote jobs or they can apply for on-site roles at local companies. In either case, they can get a subsidy for their apartment rental or mortgage in town — up to $15,000 worth, depending on the situation. As a bonus, workers will also receive a $1,000 grant from sandwich chain Jimmy John's if they move into the delivery radius of one of the restaurants.
7. Northwest Arkansas
Between the natural beauty of the Ozarks and the artsy city of Bentonville, Northwest Arkansas shouldn't be overlooked as a prime place to live as a remote worker. Oh, and there's a $10,000 cash incentive for those who move there. Finding NWA, which runs the talent incentive program, is also throwing in a free mountain bike or a free year-long membership to a local cultural institution.
Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.