Rural towns offering relocation incentives as remote work becomes routine

With more and more people working remotely, some rural areas are trying to attract more people to make the move away from the Twin Cities. They’re doing this by offering incentives for people to re-locate.

“Before the pandemic there was about five million remote workers. That has exploded to 60 million,” Evan Hock, co-founder of, said. is a new online database that compiles the different incentives cities are offering around the country for people to relocate.

“Topeka, Kansas is offering a cash incentive, plus a year of free Jimmy John’s sandwiches. A lot of the communities are finding fun ways to differentiate between each other,” Hock said

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There are a handful of cities in Minnesota already featured on the website.

Most are small and rural, like Claremont, the city about 80 miles south of Minneapolis.

“It’s definitely someplace that my kids can play outside and not feel like I have to be staring at them the entire time,” said Tasha Dahl, mayor of Claremont.

Claremont is willing to give away free land if someone qualifies, and as long as the person builds a home within 18 months on that parcel.

“We are fortunate in the fact that we have a huge opportunity for growth here in the near future,” Dahl said.

More than 200 miles north of the Twin Cities, Bemidji is hoping to make an attractive offer.

“If you want to get off work, if you want to spend time with your family, you literally go from work and be on a lake within 10 minutes,” said Erin Echternach, assistant director at “Greater Bemidji”.

They’re offering thousands of dollars for relocation reimbursement, and more.

“I think that it’s time that we expedite this, and we make this a premier place for people to come here,” Echternach said.