AZ Daily Star: Tucson looks to lure out-of-state work-from-home employees with perks

Read the full article here. By Gabriela Rico

Hoping to entice work-from-home employees to relocate to Tucson, a local nonprofit has put together a package of perks for potential new residents. Startup Tucson, along with local sponsors, has launched Remote Tucson for remote workers who move to Tucson for at least a year.

"For those looking to make a change and move from pandemic-hit big cities, Tucson has so much to offer,” said Liz Pocock, CEO of Startup Tucson, a nonprofit group supporting small business and entrepreneurship. “Even before COVID, Tucson was being recognized nationally as an up-and-coming hot spot for those looking for a different quality of life and lower cost of living than available in large metros like Los Angeles and Silicon Valley. Now is the time to take advantage of this national attention.”

The program will offer each remote worker about $7,500 in incentives, such as money for relocation costs, a year of GIG Internet from Cox and job placement help for a spouse or partner. Workers will also get membership to professional groups and cultural organizations.

Financial sponsors of the program include the City of Tucson, Marshall Foundation, Main Gate Square, Tucson Electric Power, Cox, Pima County, and Bourn Companies.

“We are thrilled that Startup Tucson is launching this program and the timing couldn’t be more perfect,” said Barbra Coffee, director of economic initiatives for the City of Tucson. “The pandemic has created more interest in the idea of choosing where you want to live if you can work from anywhere, and when someone chooses Tucson, they can be sure we have the ecosystem in place to successfully support them.”

Tucson Young Professionals will pair one of its members with the relocating worker to help plan the move.

Promotion partners, Visit Tucson, Tucson Metro Chamber, Sun Corridor, Rio Nuevo, Local First Arizona, the University Arizona Alumni Association, SAHBA and Tucson Realtors Association, are helping to spread the word about the new program.

“Unlike traditional talent attraction, for this program, workers will stay employed in their current positions," Pocock said. "They won’t only be funneling outside dollars into our economy, but by not replacing current opportunities for local residents, these new residents result in net positive growth for Tucson.”

The Tucson area has already seen an influx of people moving out of the California market whose companies will remain work-from-home for the foreseeable future.

Both the housing and rental markets have been beneficiaries.

Applications and more information on Remote Tucson can be found at Participants must provide proof of employment, be at least 18 years of age, work for a business that is based outside of Tucson, and commit to moving and living in Tucson for at least one year.

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