Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Remote workers can boost rural towns

Some rural towns are getting a boost from remote work by staffers of big-city employers, Rebecca Beitsch reports for The Hill, a newspaper that focuses on Congress. Her object example is Wardensville, W.Va, in the state's Eastern Panhandle, 100 miles west of Washington, D.C.

"It's a trend seen in other parts of the country as city dwellers who are able to work remotely, and have the financial means, have turned to rural areas for extra space during the pandemic," Beitsch writes. "West Virginia was one of several states that looked to attract such residents by rewriting its state income tax code to benefit remote workers, in addition to offering state park passes and even cash to entice more people to move. . . . Covid-19 accelerated a steady trend of weekenders buying property where they could work remotely."

That can lead to culture clashes, but Beitsch said that's not the case in Wardensville: "the area at first glance may not seem like an obvious draw for left-leaning city dwellers. Amid the blue-tinted mountains dotted with farms are a collection of Trump flags and churches with signs like 'Thank you God for America.' But those who have bought a permanent or second home here say many of the state’s residents embody a 'live and let live' philosophy."

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