22 Aug, 2018
Starting in 2019, Vermont will offer up to $10,000 in tax credit to remote workers through the New Remote Worker Grant Program, S.94, aimed at incentivizing employers and employees to work remotely in Vermont. Out-of-state employers are also encouraged to hire remote workers within the state, receiving up to $125,000 in total credits in 2019 and up to $250,000 in 2020 to cover relocation costs, equipment expenses, broadband updates, membership fees for co-working, etc.
With an unparalleled outdoors scene and a nationally ranked food scene, it’s no secret that Vermont is a great place to live. With this new program, Vermont is addressing the national labor shortage problem by playing up to its key strength – quality of life. S.94 aims to address that labor problem by improving infrastructure for remote workers and businesses, reducing the administrative and regulatory burden on businesses employing remote workers and encouraging out-of-state companies to hire and relocate remote workers in Vermont. In addition to the recent S.94 legislation, Vermont is leading the way as one of the first states with a Work Flexibility Policy to protect residents’ right to request flexible working arrangements without fear of retaliation.
S.94 is Vermont’s most recent talent attraction initiative, following other recent out-of-the-box initiatives such as the Stay-to-Stay Weekends (to turn tourists into residents) and H.906 (to attract and offer veterans direct pathways to jobs).
Here’s how Vermont is becoming America’s remote work destination:
Remote venture capitalists peaking in Vermont: FreshTracks Capital’s Road Pitch and Peak Pitch combine the thrill of biking and skiing with networking. Through creative pitching events, entrepreneurs can ski/bike while “pitching” investors… no office needed. Now, with expected increase of broadband internet speeds coming as a result of the New Remote Worker Grant Program, investors and venture capitalists can manage their financial transactions from remote locations with ease (like from the top of a ski mountain), making it possible for them to conduct business effectively in locations that suit their lifestyles.
Vermont offers spaces enabling collaborative work environments: Burlington offers close to half a dozen co-working offices located within a three-block radius, including Study Hall, Karma Birdhouse, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), Hinge and Office Squared. Vermont offers world renowned incubators and co-working spaces, with VCET ranking as the 5th best university and college-oriented business incubator in the U.S. and 11th in the world. As part of the New Remote Worker Program, the Secretary will examine the feasibility of potential funding models for the worksites, including the opportunity to provide low or no cost co-work space within State buildings that are currently vacant or underutilized.
Jobs, jobs, jobs: In addition to bringing remote workers to Vermont, the state is also making a hard push to attract talent for its growing businesses. Mentioned above, Vermont passed a law offering veterans and service members direct pathways to jobs—one of the most beneficial laws of its kind in the country. Vermont’s also launched “Stay-to-Stay Weekends,” persuading the state’s 13 million annual tourists to move here and take jobs in a place they love to visit. Additionally, Programs like the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) offer cash incentives to businesses based on the revenue return generated by the state by prospective qualifying job and payroll creation and investment capital.