A telecommuter is someone who performs the majority of their employment duties from a home office or coworking space.

An eligible telecommuter is someone who:

  • Is a full-time employee for a company headquartered outside of the region; and
  • Will relocate to the greater Bemidji area (56601 zip code); and
  • Performs their employment duties remotely (from a home office or co-working space in the Bemidji area); and
  • Has incurred qualified expenses.

YES - Recent area higher education grads who accept full-time remote work and are telecommuting from Bemidji are eligible. This pilot program will reimburse up to $500 of qualifying expenses not covered by your employer. Learn More -

Only remote workers bringing their job with them are eligible to apply to this program. However, anyone relocating to the Bemidji area can take advantage of the Community Concierge Program and would like to become more acclimated and engaged with your new hometown.

Yes. A grant can be conditionally approved prior to your move to the Bemidji area (56601 zip code). Reimbursement of eligible expenses will be provided (should grant funds still be available) after your move is complete and proper expense documentation is provided.

Applicants must provide one of the following for reimbursement:
  • Housing lease, contract or verified living arrangement (56601 zip code)
  • Utility bill with service address listed
  • Property tax bill
  • Homeowner/renter insurance

The application process is open until funds are depleted.

STEP ONE
Complete and submit the Greater Bemidji 218 Relocate Telecommuter Grant Application online prior to relocating. There are four sections:

  1. Applicant Information
  2. Eligibility
  3. Proof of Residency (documentation required)
  4. Qualified Telecommuter Expenses (documentation required)
The application requires an electronic signature
 
STEP TWO
218 Relocate will review the application, verification of the supporting documentation, and follow-up with the employer. Please allow two weeks for this review process.
 
STEP THREE
The Greater Bemidji Board of Directors will review qualified applicants for conditional or final approval. All applicants will be notified of their application status at this point.
 
STEP FOUR
A grant acceptance form will be sent to the approved applicant using the address provided in the application. The applicant must sign and return the form. After receipt,  grant awards will be mailed to recipients.  

 

The 218 Relocate program will provide one grant per household. The grant may include:

  1. Up to $1,000 in qualified moving and/or telecommuter expenses not already covered by an employer. 
  2. One-year membership to the LaunchPad  co-working space in the historic Mayflower Building ($1,500 value).
  3. Free access to the Community Concierge Program, connecting you and your family to the community.
  4. One-year Associate membership to the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce ($335 value).
  5. Teleworking support and tools through Effective Remote Work (Justin DiRose).

 

YES! Grant awards include a free one-year Associate Level membership to the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce ($335 value). For more information, please contact: abby@bemidji.org

  • Moving expenses
    1. Cost of hiring a moving company or renting moving equipment (including rental vehicle insurance fees)
    2. Non-refundable lease deposits
    3. Cost of moving supplies
  • Computer software or hardware
    1. Software or equipment directly related to the performance of employment duties.
      • Software subscriptions
      • One-time downloads
      • Packages
    2. Equipment can include
      • Computers/external drives
      • Printers/scanner
      • Other IT equipment directly related to performing employment duties and/or office furniture
  • Broadband Access and Fiber Optic Gigabit Broadband Service
    • “Broadband access” refers to the monthly cost of Internet service that an employee uses to perform their work remotely. One of the largest all-fiber optic gigabit networks in the country is right here in Beltrami County!  You can get Internet speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second both uploads and downloads to telecommute, distance learn, stream your favorite videos and much more, all at the same time if you want.
  • Greater Bemidji reserves the right to adjust the definition of qualifying expenses and the eligibility requirements of the program.

“Broadband access” refers to the monthly cost of Internet service that an employee uses to perform their work remotely. One of the largest all-fiber optic gigabit networks in the country is right here in Beltrami County!  You can get Internet speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second both uploads and downloads to telecommute, distance learn, stream your favorite videos and much more, all at the same time if you want.

As a participant in the 218 Relocate Telecommuter Grant Program, your monthly all-fiber optic Gigabit Internet service and monthly Wi-Fi service or router can qualify as part of the up to $1,000 in reimbursed moving expenses.

Applicants must provide proof of expense and payment in their own name. Expenses not yet paid are not eligible for reimbursement.

A coworking space is a shared location outside of the home ideal for telecommuters and small business owners, that provides a flexible size, environment, and contract terms. The LaunchPad is a co-working space located in Bemidji in the Historic Mayflower Building.

Yes. An applicant can apply for any portion of qualified remote worker expenses that are not paid or reimbursed by their employer.

No. There can only be one grant awarded per household.

No. Applicants are responsible for obtaining their own employment and housing.

If you are looking for a job, a good place to start is BemidjiWorks. This will direct you to some resources to help you begin your search. If you are looking for specific guidance, you can contact Erin Echternach at eechternach@greaterbemidji.com

Here are some tools for relocating to the Bemidji area:

  • For data on demographics, median home prices, and services and amenities, click HERE
  • For available housing inquiries, visit:
  • For new housing construction options, click HERE
  • For basic information about the Bemidji area schools, click HERE
  • For child care information, click HERE

All of the details of the 218 Relocate Telecommuter Grant Program can be found within these FAQS, or you can send an email to Erin Echternach at eechternach@greaterbemidji.com