YOUR PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- Up to $2,500 in reimbursed moving expenses and/or qualifying telecommuter expenses not already covered by employer/company including Gigabit internet service which is widely available throughout Beltrami County.
- One-year membership to the LaunchPad co-working space in the historic Mayflower Building ($1,500 value).
- Free access to the Community Concierge Program, connecting you and your family to the community.
- Teleworking support and tools through Effective Remote Work (provided by Justin DiRose).
- New Bonus Benefit: One-year Associate Level membership to the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce ($335 value).
Choose your lifestyle. Live and work in the northland.
If you are a telecommuter — someone who performs the majority of their employment duties remotely from a home office or co-working space — in the Bemidji area you may be eligible for this program.
Hey BSU & NTC grads, check out a program just for you - Learn more.
Below you will find information about eligibility criteria and how to apply. Please read all the materials to determine whether you are eligible to apply.
The criteria outlined below will be used to determine eligibility for the 218 Relocate Incentive Package.
Applicants must meet all criteria to be eligible.
- New telecommuter must be an individual who is a full-time employee as defined by the employer.
- New telecommuter must be relocating from a distance of 60 miles or greater from the Bemidji area (as defined by a radius of the City of Bemidji).
- New telecommuter must become a full-time resident of the greater Bemidji area on or after November 1, 2020.
- New telecommuter must perform the majority of their employment duties remotely from a home office or co-working space in the Bemidji area (such as the LaunchPad).
- New telecommuter must have incurred qualifying telecommuter expenses.
- New telecommuter may be eligible to receive a reimbursement grant of up to $2,500 upon receipt of the Greater Bemidji Telecommuter Grant Program application with documentation supporting the qualifying expenses and proof of residency. Applications must be received complete and error-free to be eligible.
“Qualifying Telecommuter Expenses” is defined as actual costs a new telecommuter incurred for relocation to Bemidji and/or one or more of the following that is necessary to perform their employment duties that are not already reimbursed by the employer.
Greater Bemidji reserves the right to adjust the definition of qualifying expenses.
"I moved back to my hometown, Bemidji after living in the metro area. I still work full-time remotely. My internet access with Paul Bunyan Communications is superior to anything I had in the office or at home in the metro.
Working remotely is great but nothing compared to living in the Northwoods and the lifestyle we enjoy. It’s like living in a state park!"
"The 218 Relocate Program exceeded my expectations and has made moving from Arizona to Bemidji so much easier than anticipated. I've appreciated the support I've received from this program which enabled me to set-up an amazing home office for working remotely. In addition, I have loved the warm welcome I received from many in this community and the beautiful northwoods of Bemidji. Growing up in Phoenix I never imagined moving here, but I am grateful for this new adventure. As I learn to adjust to this new environment and develop a greater appreciation for the outdoors through cross country skiing, biking, and enjoying days at the lake. Thank you to the 218 Relocate Program and the Greater Bemidji for this amazing opportunity and welcoming myself and other telecommuters into your beautiful city!"
"218 Relocate could not have come at a better time. When COVID-19 took over the world, I was freshly married, and my wife and I were trying to figure out where we wanted to plant our “roots”. As 2020 continued to march forward, I moved to a new team at work, and had been working from home almost exclusively since March. With this transition, it became clear that I would have the opportunity to become a full-time telecommuter if I desired. With my wife growing up in Bemidji, and myself attending Bemidji State University, it was a relatively easy decision to make. The “icing on the cake”, per se, was when our friend sent us a link to 218 Relocate. This made a “relatively” easy decision into a “no brainer”. Reimbursing moving expenses, home office equipment, and even a one-year subscription of Paul Bunyan Communication’s Gigabit Internet! Because of this program, it immediately helped my wife and I feel right at home - a home we are happy to return to."
"We were seeking a more relaxed lifestyle and being a telecommuter offers a lot of schedule flexibility so we can explore and be outdoors. Bemidji has offered us many activities and we cannot wait for summer to kick-off! The relocation program provided us with resources and business connections that we would not have made on our own. We are so thankful for the relocation program and the people we have been able to connect with. We look forward to more opportunities within the community!"
“We fell in love with Minnesota when we moved here in 2018, and early this year found Bemidji by pure luck and love the area! Our only requirements for a new home for us were high-speed internet and land, much to our surprise high-speed internet screams here! Moving here from Minnetonka in mid-April this year has been exactly what we were looking for. I can work in support of my I.T. clients and my wife can provide substitute teaching and tutoring as needed, and relax in our quiet location after work. All the convenience of a quiet location, yet close enough to town where we are part of a friendly community. The 218 Relocate program was a pleasant surprise for us and helped with unexpected moving expenses. The additional services of the 218 Relocate program will be a welcomed benefit as we get to know more of Bemidji and meet new friends along the way. 218 Relocate is a great idea!”
Jose and Enrica Correa
"As a business owner for the last 15 years and community member for over 30 years, I can attest to the confidence we have in the Paul Bunyan Communications Gigazone. We provide online training services for trainees/companies from International Falls,MN to Drayton, North Dakota and beyond. With the robust internet that Paul Bunyan Communications has built, we can deliver quality educational services with full video and audio capabilities. We are spoiled because we know we have a "four lane" internet highway at our disposal."
Dr. Mary Eaton
"After living in Denver for over thirty years, my husband and I were looking for a much smaller community in a beautiful setting with great internet, that we could call home. Bemidji had everything we were looking for including a university and local sports, culture and events, and of course, lots of outdoor activities. When we found out the area has award winning internet, which is essential because I work from home, we were sold. We worked with a friendly and informative local realtor who helped us purchase a home remotely and made the move in May 2021. Learning about the 218 Relocate program was icing on the cake! It is so helpful to have knowledgeable, enthusiastic individuals available to provide support and connection to the community. Bemidji is truly a treasure. We are so happy to be here!"
Priscilla and Mark
"As Community Concierge volunteers, we were connected with a young couple who has recently made their home together in Bemidji. Our initial plan to meet mid-afternoon went so well that we found ourselves spending time together right into dinner and beyond. We have since gotten together and are glad to have formed what will be a lasting friendship!"
Ruth & Justin
Up to $2,500 in reimbursed moving expenses and/or qualifying telecommuter expenses
Fiber Optic Gigabit Broadband Services
Beltrami County has been named the #1 county in Minnesota for access to Fiber Optic Gigabit Internet speeds* and is home to one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the United States!
As a participant in the 218 Relocate 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
- Software or equipment directly related to the performance of employment duties.
- Software subscriptions
- One-time downloads
- Equipment can include
- Computers/external drives
- Other IT equipment directly related to performing employment duties and/or office furniture
HOW TO APPLY
Applications will be accepted until funds are depleted.
218 Relocate Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis upon receipt of complete and error-free applications. Subject to funding availability, applicants may receive up to $2,500 for relocation-related expenses.
There is a limit of one 218 Relocate Grant per household per year.
The 218 Relocate Grant Application has four sections:
- Applicant Information
- Proof of Residency, and
- Qualifying Telecommuter Expenses.
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)