Competition Mounts for Location Independent Individuals

Competition heats up for the location independent, work-from-anywhere crowd among cities in the US, as well as countries all over the world.

July 26, 2021

By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP

location independent The nomad is quickly becoming a very desirable target audience, even more so than tourists. With tourism itself getting to be more cumbersome than it’s worth, countries are shifting their gaze toward the long term, but not permanent, interloper.

There are some cities and countries ready to pay you to take your nomadic life on over to their place for a bit, in fact!

In Italy, for example, Rieti in the Lazio region, and Santa Fiora in Tuscany are both offering 50% stipend toward rent to nomads who can present proof of income (self-employed) or proof of approved remote work (employees).

These areas have invested in high speed internet services, and have vacancies in town. To be clear, these are not large cities, but rather little hamlets outside the major cities. But rents range from $350 to $600, so imagine that being comped at 50%. You would wind up paying $175 – $300 per month.

Smaller towns in Italy are shrinking because younger generations leave to go find jobs in larger cities. They are trying to rejuvenate the area, and invite people to live there, at least temporarily, if not set up remote working centers and take up permanent residency.

For investors or entrepreneurs, particularly those with Italian heritage or connections, Balocchi is also offering a €30,000 grant for those looking to open a B&B or hostel business in town, and is also willing to provide childcare assistance.

Countries are realizing, with the latest surge in work-from-home accommodations, people don’t need to take a limited amount of vacation time to travel anymore. They can stay for months and just live somewhere for a spell. Every weekend can be a little “stay-cation” in their new country or city.

Over thirty countries right now are offering some sort of incentive or visa to digital nomads to come and work. Some that we’ve already covered are:

There are still places like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iceland, Norway, Malta, Taiwan, Croatia, North Macedonia, and several more Caribbean islands. Obviously each of them come with different earning and savings account requirements, based on the cost of living there, but in looking through them, this isn’t just for the millionaires either.

It’s a good deal for everyone: the country gets prolonged tourists who spend their money on general cost of living plus tourism, the visitors get to live in places for a while they never thought they could and have a full experience, quite affordably!

This is also a tremendous turn toward freedom. Location independence is making the economy far more disparate, and that’s a great thing! It might help defuse nationalism and encourage a more international and tolerant society.

There are even locations within the US that are jumping on the bandwagon, but in a slightly different way. They want to entice people to relocate from expensive areas to less expensive areas, while not taking any of the state’s jobs from existing locals. The jobs bit is silly, since people don’t “steal jobs”.

I told you about these guys:

  • Northwest Arkansas: Offering up to $10,000 and the choice of a free mountain bike or museum membership. You’re looking at life backed up to the Ozark Mountains. It’s not large city life, but it’s beautiful rural small town life.

  • Savannah, Georgia: offering up to $2,000 in relocation costs to remote tech workers.

  • Tucson, Arizona: They want to draw folks of any industry. They offer up to $1,500 in moving costs, free trial periods at local co-working spaces, one year of free internet, and they even partnered up with a service to help find your spouse a job if only one of you works remotely.

  • The Shoals, NW Alabama: This is another $10,000 offering. They pay 25% up front for moving costs. Another 25% 6 months later. And the last 50% installment upon completing a full year there. Basically $10,000 for just being there for a year.

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: Another $10,000 grant for remote workers to move to Tulsa. Similar to The Shoals, the grant would be paid out incrementally over a year.

  • Topeka, Kansas: This city is offering $10,000 toward a down payment on a house or $5,000 toward a lease on an apartment.

But that’s not even half the cities offering incentives to come make the move!

Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Michigan, Maine, Vermont, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Arkansas, and Alabama all have cities (some even multiple cities) offering incentives to relocate to their little plot on the map.

There is actually a website called MakeMyMove that coordinates these incentive programs. From what I could see on their website, you can sign up for updates on new locations, connect with them on existing offers, and even try to design your own offer that would get you to move! It’s incredible that this is now a business model.

But it did get me thinking… The state or city can’t create the jobs needed for people to relocate there. They are failing at enticing businesses to relocate there. So they are now plucking the workforce itself and having them move to their states and cities.

I don’t blame them. Remote workers are an educated and affluent cohort.

If you recall, Amazon was taking bids from 238 cities across the US to become home to their second headquarters. Instead of vying for one corporation, they are vying for all the remote workers.

The competition both within countries and between them can only lead to an even greater incentive for those on the fence about the nomadic life! Soon the companies that lagged on allowing virtual work will have no choice but to adapt with the times, since their talent pool is scattering to the burbs and beyond!

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