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 from a distance of 60 miles or greater from the Bemidji area (as defined by a radius of the City of Bemidji); and
  • Has moved to the Bemidji area on or after November 1, 2020; 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.

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.

YES - BSU and NTC 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 become eligible, applicants must provide the last four digits of their valid Minnesota-issued driver's license or non-driver identification card, plus 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

The Greater Bemidji 218 Relocate Telecommuter Grant Program Application has four sections: Applicant Information, Eligibility, Proof of Residency, and Qualifying Telecommuter Expenses.

  • STEP TWO

Submit your completed application via the online form.

A completed application must include:

    • Four completed sections, including electronic signature
    • Documentation required for Proof of Residency (see Section 3)
    • Documentation of Qualifying Telecommuter Expenses (see Section 4)

When the applicant is notified that they will receive a grant award, they must sign and return a grant acceptance form. When the signed form is returned, the award will be sent to the address provided on the application.

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. Choose your lifestyle. Live and work in the northland.

There is a limit of one 218 Relocate Telecommuter Grant per household per year. A new application must be submitted each year.

No. Telecommuters must submit a new application for each year. Grants are first come, first served and subject to funds availability.

There is a limited amount of funding for the 218 Relocate Telecommuter Grant Program. Applicants that submit a complete, error-free application on or after February 1, 2021 are eligible to receive grants. 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.

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 per year.

No. However, there is a pilot program for recent graduates from BSU & NTC who stay in Bemidji and accept a full-time remote working role. These individuals would be eligible for up to $1,000 in approved unreimbursed expenses (i.e. office space, technology & equipment). In addition, they would have a full year membership at the LaunchPad co-working space. Learn More - 

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