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 of a company; and
  • Has relocated to the greater Bemidji area; and
  • Has moved to the Bemidji area on or after November 1, 2020 (applications must be received within one month of relocation); and
  • Performs the majority of their employment duties remotely (from a home office or coworking space in the Bemidji area); and
  • Has incurred qualified telecommuter expenses.

Greater Bemidji reserves the right to adjust the definition of qualifying expenses and the eligibility requirements of the program.

You are not considered a telecommuter if you do not perform the majority of your employment duties remotely from a home office or coworking space. However, feel free to take advantage of the Community Concierge Program if you have relocated to the area and would like to become more acclimated to your new hometown.

YES - Recent area higher education grads who accept full-time remote work and are telecommunity from Bemidji are eligible. This pilot program provides up to $1,000 of unreimbursed expenses (office supplies, software/hardware, etc.) and included a free 1 year membership to the LaunchPad Co-Working space. In addition, there are remote work resources available to each participant. Learn More -

Yes. There will be verification of your eligibility throughout the application process, if you are a W2 or 1099 applicant, you will need to supply qualifying documentation in order to be considered eligible for a grant.

No. Eligible applicants must have moved to the Bemidji area on or after November 1, 2020 and provide documentation of qualified expenses incurred.

To be deemed eligible, applicants must provide one of the following:
  • Housing lease or contract
  • 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. 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, complete verification of the supporting documentation, as well as follow-up with the employer representative listed. Please allow two weeks for this review process.
 
STEP THREE
Applications that meet the requirements will go through a final approval process through the Greater Bemidji Board of Directors (this occurs on a monthly basis). All applicants will be notified of their application status at this point.
 
STEP FOUR
With Board approval, qualifying applicants will be notified of the grant award. A grant acceptance form will be sent and must be returned with a signature in order to mail the award to the address provided within the application.
 

Greater Bemidji reserves the right to adjust the definition of qualifying expenses and the eligibility requirements of the program.

Should you meet the eligibility requirements for the 218 Relocate Telecommuter Grant Program and are selected to receive funding, you will automatically receive:

  1. Up to $2,500 in reimbursed moving expenses and/or qualifying telecommuter expenses including Gigabit internet service which is widely available throughout Beltrami County
  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. Teleworking support and tools through Effective Remote Work (Justin DiRose)
  5. One-year Associate membership to the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce ($335 value).

Choose your lifestyle. Live and work in the northland.

There is a limit of one 218 Relocate Telecommuter Grant per household.

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

There is a limited amount of funding for the 218 Relocate Telecommuter Grant Program. Applicants whose applications are received and confirmed complete and eligible first will receive grants until all the funding allocated has been awarded.

Once all of the program funding has been awarded, no further grants will be awarded.

  • Moving expenses
    1. Cost of hiring a moving company or renting moving equipment (including rental vehicle insurance fees)
    2. 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.

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

“Moving expenses” include the cost of hiring a moving company or renting moving equipment (including rental vehicle insurance fees), lease deposits, and the cost of moving supplies.

“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 $2,500 in reimbursed moving expenses.

“Computer software or hardware” refers to software or equipment directly related to the performance of employment duties. It can include software subscriptions or one-time downloads or packages. Equipment can include computers, printers, scanners, external drives, or other IT equipment directly related to performing employment duties.

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