Working from home definitely has its perks: unlimited access to your bed, a multitude of snacks at your disposal, and, of course, not answering to anyone but yourself. And if you’re someone who has the luxury of working remotely every single day, you might want to consider moving… to Vermont.
Why? Well, as of May 30, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a new bill into law that provides $10,000 to remote out-of-state workers who choose to move to the New England state. Provided over two years (so you don’t just pack up and leave shortly after arriving), the stipend is meant to cover any and all working expenses; including relocation costs, coworking memberships, computers, internet, and the like. Dubbed the "Remote Worker Grant Program", it officially launches on January 1, 2019. The state currently has budgeted funds to support 100 grants for the first three years of the program, and an additional 20 workers each year after that. You’ll have to apply for the grant, and it will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The reason behind this generosity is less exciting—unfortunately, this is an effort to save the state’s crippling economy. Vermont's median age has increased drastically to 42.8 years, much higher than the national median average of 37.8 years, and the state is therefore aging faster than the rest of the country. As this means there will eventually will be more jobs than people, the state is coming up with some creative solutions to get people moving north.
In addition to the Remote Worker Grant, there’s also the Stay to Stay Weekends program, which encourages tourists to move by connecting them to employers, realtors, and entrepreneurs if they visit during any four designated weekends between April and October. “We must think outside the box to help more Vermonters enter the labor force and attract more working families and young professionals to Vermont,” said Governor Scott in a statement.
Vermont isn’t the first place that’ll pay you to move there. If you're looking to go international, consider Italy: Earlier, we reported that the small village of Candela was paying new locals a lump sum per year, and the village area of Ollolai was selling homes for literally $1.25. These incentives were put forth in efforts to increase the population of these dwindling villages, in order to restore the towns back to their former glory… similar to what Vermont is doing.
And hey, while it might not be as exciting as working from Hawaii, Vermont definitely has its perks: Lush national parks, several fantastic universities, incredible skiing, and, of course, a steady supply of local maple syrup are all reasons to explore living in the gorgeous green state. But if you’re someone who loves the sun, might we suggest visiting in the winter first? The average temperature spikes at a chilly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Yikes.
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