Need a New Start? These 5 Cities Will Pay You to Take Your Talents There


Social Media Week

U.S. cities are entering the increasingly competitive talent tug-of-war with $45 million in incentives.

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The fight for talent has never been fiercer. Technology has opened the flood gates when it comes to remote workers, making it possible for corporations to attract talent from people outside of their own geographic footprint. What’s more, roughly 40 percent of the workforce will be freelance by 2020, meaning that organizations have expanded opportunities to partner with top talents on specific projects—oftentimes without a full-time commitment.

Still, the corporate world is far from being fully remote, and cities are ramping up their efforts to entice people to make a move outside of the major metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. While these small- to mid-sized might not even be on the radar for many young professionals, they are worth a considering given that, collectively, U.S. cities are offering up a whopping $45 billion in incentives to those who opt to relocate.

Many of these cities are safe, charming and afford amenities that are similar (albeit stripped town) to those of larger, more expensive metropolitan areas. So, what’s the rub? Policy Expert John Lettieri says it’s due to the fact that economic momentum is “not in favor of these older, industrial small- to mid-size places. “The cities are often tied to a single sector and tend to have more-static economies,” he said.

And so, to balance out the economic discrepancies, cities like Detroit and Buffalo are doling out serious incentives to people who opt to pack their bags and start a new business and a new life in a new city.

Per a Wall Street Journal report, economic development tax incentives have tripled over the past 25 years, and the perks aren’t only reserved for business owners. Several cities are making it more desirable than ever for solopreneurs, remote workers and freelancers to make a move. Here are a few of those cities via The Penny Hoarder.

1. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is an oft-cited example of a mid-sized city with a commitment to bringing new blood into the mix. The Downtown Detroit Partnership recently offered such perks as a $20,000 forgivable loan toward the purchase of a home and a $2,500 funding allowance for renting an apartment.

2. Niagara Falls, New York

Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Niagara Falls is settled adjacent to Buffalo, a rising (and surprising) hotbed for technology startups. Niagara Falls is offering student loan repayment assistance to the tune of $7,000 for grads who move to certain neighborhoods.

3. New Haven, Connecticut

Just a 90-minute train ride from New York, New Haven is offering $10,000, interest-free, to help cover closing costs or down payment on a new home.

4. New Richland, Minnesota

Did someone say free land? New Richland, a town of about 1,200 people in rural Minnesota, is giving away land (yep, 100 percent free) to people who build a home within a year of receiving the land’s deed. The town is roughly 100 miles south of St. Paul.

5. Alaska (Anywhere you like!)

If land is what you’re after, look no further than Alaska. Alaska’s geographical incentives, which began in the 1970s, pay citizens out from money generated through the state’s oil royalties. The total annual payout varies by year: In 1984 the amount was $331.29, but in 2008 it ballooned to $3,269.

H/T The Penny Hoarder

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Katie Perry

Contributor, Social Media Week

Katie Perry is a marketing & content strategist and contributor to SMW News, a leading news platform covering startups, tech, brands and the future of work. You can follow Katie on Twitter at @katieeperry.



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