Thinking of moving to greener pastures? A who’s who of overlooked cities will Venmo you a little something something if you pick them.
Over the last year, Topeka, Tulsa, northwestern Alabama, and the entire state of Vermont have lured tech workers with stipends of $5k to $10k.
And now that Big Tech is embracing remote work forever, more communities are tossing their checks into the ring. Last month, Savannah, Georgia announced it will dish out up to $2k for moving expenses to a select class of remote tech workers.
Meet your municipal patrons
These locations have a few things in common: Many have seen their populations fall, and they’re betting that ponying up a bit of cash will widen their appeal.
The startup MainStreet offers $10k to Bay Area workers who will move into its brick-and-mortar offices in Sacramento or Salt Lake City.
The offers are even going international: The tiny country of Estonia is handing over ~1.8k digital nomad visas to freelancers and remote workers.
But you’d have better luck getting into Stanford
In its first year, Tulsa Remote — a program offering a $10k stipend — accepted only 1% of its 10k applicants.
One reason: Despite the hype, these remote-work programs remain tiny.
- Tulsa’s program — one of the biggest in the US — capped its inaugural class of acceptances at 100 people. (Only 70 actually enrolled.)
- When it launched last year, Alabama’s Remote Shoals program sought to attract just 10 tech workers.
- Vermont’s is on hold after funding 69 people at ~$3.6k each.
At their current size, these programs won’t solve the population woes of the localities offering them — or make big-city expats rich. But considering how much moving companies are making right now, a few extra Gs is nothing to sneeze at.