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A rural Kansas county wants remote workers to move there. It's giving new residents $4,500 cash, an internet stipend, and fresh eggs.

Allie Kelly   

A rural Kansas county wants remote workers to move there. It's giving new residents $4,500 cash, an internet stipend, and fresh eggs.
  • Lincoln County, Kansas is offering $4,500 with perks to attract remote workers.
  • The program aims to recruit five new residents in two years, along with 70 households in the region.

Lincoln County, Kansas is recruiting new residents.

The rural area is about 130 miles north of Wichita and has a population of just under 3,000 people. But local community leaders are hoping to attract remote workers and grow the local economy by offering new residents $4,500 cash, a $500 credit toward high-speed internet, a gym membership, and a monthly basket of farm-fresh eggs. Participants can also receive a free plot of land to build their home.

Lincoln County's mover incentive program comes after a slew of other cities tried —and found success — with similar economic growth strategies for low-population areas. These programs were launched in West Lafayette, Indiana; Ellsworth County, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and more.

To qualify, remote workers must be employed full-time, make at least $50,000 annually, and reside outside Kansas before moving. Participants must also be able to relocate within six months of enrolling in the program and agree to live in the area for at least a year.

If a participant's spouse or partner is hired for a local job, they can also qualify for an additional $5,000 cash.

The original mover incentive program for Lincoln was launched in January 2023, with the goal of attracting five remote workers to the county within the first year. The program was recently expanded to lure a fresh batch of newcomers.

The Innovation Center, an economic and entrepreneurial assistance organization, is supporting Lincoln's program. Since the program launched, it has received over 330 applications, with more than 35 applicants meeting the criteria. The program is marketed and monitored by Make My Move, an Indianapolis-based company that helps communities connect with remote workers through cash and perks.

And, Lincoln's mover recruitment strategy has already been so successful that it is being expanded by the Innovation Center, with the goal of attracting more workers to Northwest Kansas.

The larger program's goal is to add 70 households to the region, and 23 counties have already expressed interest in participating, per Make My Move.

Lincoln's program is part of plans to grow the labor force in Northwest Kansas

Business Insider has previously reported that participants in mover incentive programs enjoy a lower a low cost of living, more affordable housing, tax breaks, and opportunities to pay down debt.

"We really work hard to ensure our movers know what we offer and what we don't, so there's no movers' remorse," Kelly Gourley, executive director of the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation, said in a public statement. "And we work to match them up with people who'll not just introduce them to our community, but welcome them in."

Make My Move reported that early movers to Lincoln relocated from major population centers like Atlanta, Dallas, and Memphis, Tennessee.

Additionally, Lincoln is one of 95 Kansas counties enrolled in the state's Rural Opportunity Zone program, which seeks to draw new movers and grow the labor force. In some counties, participants can also qualify for state income tax waivers and funded student loan repayments.

"The money is just the hook," Gourley said. "It won't make someone like where they live; it's what comes after that makes someone feel good about the move."

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