Micro and small enterprises represent approximately 98.4% of private enterprises in Brazil. Those small businesses are placed in a highly competitive environment and they need management practices to pursue greater competitiveness, resulting in a demand for performance indicators that can better assist entrepreneurs in small business management. The aim of the research is to verify if the micro and small enterprises (SMEs) associated with the MICROEMPA association of Caxias do Sul, Brazil, use performance indicators and what are these specifically. The research is exploratory with a descriptive study. The sample was completed with 42 companies from a universe of 561 companies. The results show that majority of companies use performance indicators to monitor the management of the business, but nevertheless, a small proportion of existing indicators are being by SMEs.
Key words: SMEs, performance indicators, Brazilian industry.