As more Americans continue to work from home, small towns across the country are luring remote workers with irresistible incentives to move there and stay for at least a year – a new survey has revealed.
A report from MakeMyMove.com, an online directory that connects workers with such offers nationwide, showed that dozens of small towns are willing to provide up to $20,000 in cash, tax credits, homebuying allowances in hopes of attracting out-of-state folks to relocate there.
“Many of these communities historically have been flyover towns,” said Evan Hock, co-founder of MakeMyMove.com. “Maybe they lost population in the last decade; growth has slowed. Brand-new citizens bring a lot of income and spending that is enormously valuable as it trickles through the economy.”
This strategy aims to diversify the populations in towns and counties and increase their tax base. For new residents, lifestyle amenities — a slower pace, affordable housing, less traffic, access to nature, close-knit communities – are also a big plus.
“When you recruit a new worker into the community,” Hock said. “you get their tax revenues, their spending in the local economy. As communities dig into the math, they’ll see these remote workers are enormously valuable.”
Here are some of the relocation offers on MakeMyMove’s page:
- $20,000 to move to Morgantown, West Virginia
- $15,660 to move to Augusta, Maine
- $15,000 to move to Montpelier, Vermont
- $10,000 to move to Ontario, Oregon
- $5,000 to move to Baltimore, Maryland
Around 8.0 million people have already relocated since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, some places require income verification and proof that new residents can work from home. Other benefits are taxable, and spots are limited.
Launched in late last year, MakeMyMove currently has 38 cities listed on its website, with new cities added every week. Hock said that they have seen interest in these programs explode, which he and other experts expect will continue post-pandemic.
“Suddenly, millions of people were freed from their current location,” he said. “We realized it was a unique opportunity to help communities recruit these remote workers. We expect to see these incentives start to get richer and richer as competition increases and as communities understand the economic value of these folks.”