Columbus is offering $5,000 incentives to lure remote workers to the Georgia city.

Hundreds of qualified workers from across the country have applied for the program so far.

To qualify, remote workers have to earn $75,000 in positions that they can do from anywhere — and currently live 75 miles outside of Columbus. That distance includes Atlanta.

Columbus 2025, a local economic development collaborative, is behind the offer.

Its executive director, Tabatha Goetz, said a group of young professionals in Columbus sorted through the applicants and interviewed the most promising.

“Those people will actually be part of the program with them and help them get involved in the community once they get here,” she said. “They get some co-working space. They get some tickets, they get some memberships, all to help them feel really connected to Columbus.”

The group is now in the process of verifying incomes and making offers to would-be Columbus residents.

It expects its first cohort of between seven and 10 remote workers to make their moves within the next few months.

That might not seem like a lot, but Goetz said the program will return next year and regardless of how many people actually get offers and move, part of the program is marketing Columbus as a great place to live and work.

Goetz counts it as a win anytime people hear about the city’s affordability, proximity to Atlanta and quality of life.

“I feel very strongly that Columbus is one of the hidden gems of the South,” she said. “We have a lot of the same assets of a lot of cities you’ve heard of before. You just haven’t heard of us yet.”

The application is still up on the website