CALGARY -- Maintaining a supply of face masks, sanitizer and cleaning supplies are some of the costs of doing businesses for restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the cost of replenishing another everyday, essential item — disposable gloves — is skyrocketing.

“When it comes gloves per se, we’re having a hard time finding them and whenever we find them we’re paying ridiculous prices for it,” said Lilian Gonzalez, owner of Molcajete Authentic Mexican at Crossroads Market.

“Also, because of COVID, customers expect you to be more careful and we’re running out of it.”

Another vendor has also noticed the massive price jump.

“We used to get 200 for $7. Now we get 100 for $17. We can’t survive like that,” said Xavier Rabasso, with Arepa Boss, specializing in Venezuelan cuisine.

“I think they should somehow put a stop to that because that's just gouging. If this keeps going like this, there’s not going to be restaurants in Calgary."

Neither vendor has raised prices.

“No, if I do that then I lose customers,” said Gonzalez.

David Schindler with Western Mask and Protective Equipment says "there’s a little bit of hoarding happening, but primarily its supply and demand.

“There are other buyers and the manufacturers have to cater to really a wide group of buyers," he said.

The supplier sells out of Basha Foods in Northeast Calgary, but also online. Schindler said he started noticing the demand for gloves about six weeks ago.

“Unfortunately that translates to a higher cost to the consumer … Prices I would say have gone up easily double or triple depending on your source,” he said. 

Schindler said it's hard to predict how long this demand for gloves will continue, but he anticipates high prices for at least eight months to a year.