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Company offering employees $10,000 to leave Bay Area

San Francisco Chronicle logo San Francisco Chronicle 3/20/2017 Alix Martichoux
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Silicon Valley is the global capital of the technology industry, but one tech company is offering to pay employees $10,000 to leave the Bay Area. 

Zapier CEO Wade Foster says the offer is part of an experimental de-location package for the company.

Foster moved from Missouri to the Bay Area five years ago and acknowledges the many benefits to living here, like being in the heart of the tech scene. "Not to mention the fantastic weather, the adjacent beaches, wine country, ski country, and more that the area has to offer—it truly makes the Bay Area one-of-a-kind," Foster writes in a blog post

However, all those perks come with a price and Bay Area cities have become some of the most expensive places to live in the country. Foster thinks many people would like to leave the area in search of a better quality of life but don't want to sacrifice potential career opportunities. 

"I know there are quite a few people in the Bay Area who are new parents looking to find a better standard of living," the CEO told SFGATE. "It's difficult for a family of four to afford rent, a mortgage, or child care here in the Bay Area. Even if you are a two-income family this can still be difficult."

To combat the problem, Zapier, a workflow automation startup that helps users to connect apps, is offering $10,000 to Bay Area residents who accept a position with the company and agree to move away. All of the company's employees work remotely. 

"Since we don't care where people work from, we thought we'd help with a relocation package to help our new teammates find a place they'd love to live," Foster told us. 

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There is some fine print involved: The $10,000 can only go toward reimbursing moving expenses for the first three months the employee is working at the company. The tech company is also asking for a one-year commitment, to avoid people taking advantage of the offer. 

This isn't the first time companies have tried to attract Silicon Valley talent with enticing moving benefits. In 2016, a New Zealand town offered packages of land and homes for $165,000 to anyone willing to live and work there.

Though the de-location package was only announced a few days ago, the company is already seeing a lot of interest in the deal. 

"Over the weekend we've seen quite a few people apply for our open positions citing interest due to the de-location package," Foster told SFGATE in an interview. 

If all goes well, Foster says his company may expand the offer to employees looking to relocate from other expensive cities. 

As for Foster and his own family, he says they don't want to leave the Bay Area, but fear they may have to one day.

"My wife and I genuinely do love it here. We've made friendships that will last us through our lifetime," Foster told SFGATE. "My wife and I are seriously considering moving though because there are benefits of being in a lower cost of living area and being closer to family."

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