“My thinking was that politicians typically like to support local businesses,” she said.
Ms. Perry described years of barely keeping her head above water. Since 1991, Tea & Sympathy’s rent has gone from around $800 a month to over $5,000, she said. Raising prices on food and drink to keep pace with those increases would quickly drive her out of business, she said: “I can’t charge $30 for a pot of tea.”
Ms. Perry said the combined income for all three businesses was “under $100,000”; just enough for her and her husband, Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett, “to pay our bloody bills.”
Ms. Perry and Mr. Kavanagh-Dowsett’s 14-year-old daughter attends the Clinton School in Gramercy Park, because it’s free. “We are not 1 percenters,” Ms. Perry said. “We’re holding on for dear life.”
As she saw it, Ms. Parker and Ms. Nixon merely did “what decent people do,” which was to try to help someone with less power and wealth than themselves.
Ms. Perry also plans on voting for Ms. Nixon next week. “I don’t dislike Cuomo,” Ms. Perry said. “I don’t think he’s done a terrible job.” But, she thinks, he represents more of the same.
Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cuomo, said: “Governor Cuomo has done more for small businesses than any governor in N.Y. history.” She added, “He was making the point that Cynthia Nixon, a large donor to Mayor de Blasio, used her special access — access that average New Yorkers do not have — to call in favors for her wealthy friends."
Ms. Perry doesn’t like that Mr. Cuomo has taken millions of dollars from big real estate developers, the sort who threaten her existence. “Everyone’s existence,” she said. “We need someone with empathy. That is what’s lacking.”